Revenue generation: G-B set to tax the rich, exempt the poor

GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan government has decided to tax the affluent to increase its revenues, officials told The Express Tribune on Sunday. “The lower income classes will, however, be exempted from paying taxes,” an official in the Chief Minister Secretariat said.

During the meeting of the National Economic Council, which was chaired by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah had said that his government will have to reduce expenditure in order to complete development projects.

He said that the government will have to generate additional income to restructure the region’s economy which was hit hard by last year’s floods.

“We will have to reduce outside dependence, and for that matter we will have to bring the affluent class into the tax net,” Shah told participants of the meeting. He assured that people in lower income groups “will not be affected”.

Nationalist parties have resisted the imposition of tax in Gilgit-Baltistan under the slogan ‘no taxation without representation’. “We will pay taxes but not without representation in the National Assembly and Senate,” said Nawaz Naji, a nationalist who won the recent by-elections in Ghizer.

Meanwhile, a delegation of USAID has met the chief minister and informed him of a hospital project the agency plans to build in Gilgit-Baltistan.

“The delegation briefed the chief minister that two earthquake-proof hospitals of 97 beds each will be set up in Gilgit and Baltistan,” an official said, adding that the first hospital will be set up in Gilgit in October this year.

The USAID has asked for provision of 80 Kanals of land for the hospitals which will have a 24-hour uninterrupted supply of electricity. The chief minister has assured USAID his support for the projects.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2011.

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  1. We condemn the imposition of taxation without giving the people of Gilgit-Baltistan constitutional rights. How can the govt. of Pakistan impose tax on GB without deciding its’ constitutional status? The PPPP’S present govt. even did not bothers to consult its’ titular govt. of GB about the important issues of GB. For example about the Diamer-Basha Dam the Chief Ministers of four provinces of Pakistan were consulted and their consensus was sought. How ridiculous it was to avoid their own YES Man, the Chief Minister of GB in whose jurisdiction the dam will be constructed. We request all sensible people of GB to resist this imposition of Tax until and unless our constitutional rights are given to us.

  2. The GB govt’s intention to impose taxes should be outrightly rejected. The people are already paying taxes to the central Govt through GST and other indirect taxes.

    This means that the taxes to be imposed on the people will be charged directly from their incomes. This will not only deminish the disposal incomes, but will escalate the cost of living for the people living in a harsh and difficult region.

    Imposition of taxes cannot be justified, given the state of social sector in the area. The road network, the government run schools and hospitals and other inftrastructure is close to being non-functional.
    The GB govt is expected to fail to provide services to people in return for the taxes, therefore the imposition of any kind of tax regime should be highly condemned.

    As an alternate to taxes, our politicians should demand from fereral govt to give right over the royalties from torurism to GB.

    The GB govt should demand royalty over indus waters from the three beneficiary provinces including Punjab,KPK and Sindh. This should be in addition to the royalty over income from diamer dam.

    The tax base is not as wide and deep as to get generate a sizeable tax income in GB. Therefore, the govt should seek to explore other alternatives than to adding miseries to the lives of the people.

  3. In words of Nawaz Khan Naji, “Jahan tax se uuper walay badmashoon ki ayashiyaan hoti hain, waha kon tax daiga? uuper k 2 number nay neechay walay ko bhi 2 number bana diya”
    It is a ridiculous step. The poor is supposedly exempted from this tax but its them who are going to be affected in the end. The so called “rich” in Gilgit are predominantly the business class, who will be forced to raise their profit margins higher if you curtail their income by taxing them, which in turn will affect the mass consumers, who are predominantly the ones who think they are exempted from the tax.

  4. Yar ye log kis tax ki bat kar rahain hai CM agar apnay doray kam karay tu ham bohot paisay bacha saktain hai

  5. its good for them who belief or casting their votes for fedral parties,what these parties did over their pakistan,dnt belf ppp ,mqm,pml,pml(n),apml, or any other party of pakistan ,

  6. ab bolo jeyyyyyyyyyeeeeee bhatooooooo,,or jo jye altaf bol rhai hn on ko b ahista ahista hosh ayega,ye hamey kb samj aye ga in partiyon ne pakistan me kya gul khelaya hai jo boloristan me khlane aarahai hn… sb hamaere kiye ka saza mil raha hai in hukmranun ko hm ne khod apne opr muslat kiya howa hai,ab b waqt hai hosh me aye nai to hamari wajod mit jaye gi…jeye pyf ,jeye baba jan

  7. revenue generation is good idea but inception of tax special in area which has no permanent status of province and system is reley on single presidential ordinance ,the idea is highly unappreciated …if we need infact govt need more money to have luxurious life thy must invite investor to invest in tourism ,minerals,agriculture .does our finance minister has any idea that what is per capita income in GB? What servics sector and business are producing?if CM controls the corruption in GBPWD highest fund taker i think CM would have enough to smile .

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