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Income tax imposed in Gilgit-Baltistan

GILGIT: With reservations being expressed by people from all walks of life and even by the governor, income tax has been imposed on the people of Gilgit-Baltistan which will be effective from Nov 1, it has been learnt. According to local media reports, a senior officer in the Federal Board of Revenue in Islamabad said that they had informed the authorities concerned in the region that the tax would be deducted from the salaries of all government and other department employees whose annual income was Rs400,000 and above. He said in this regard, all preparations had been made to deduct at sources the income tax. In reply to a question, the officer said that there were no differences of opinion among the Gilgit-Baltistan Council as regard to the tax. He said the decision had been reached when Yousuf  Raza Gilani was the prime minister. He said all the members of the council had approved the levy of the tax and after that the chairman of the council, the prime minister of Pakistan, was requested for direction to issue a notification. In the meantime, however, Mr Gilani was sent packing by the Supreme Court. When Raja Pervez Ashraf took over as the new prime minister, all the relevant documents were placed before him. Later, he ordered the issuance of the notification, he added. An officer in the council secretariat said that without the consent of the council members, no one could take any decision. E said in imposition of the income tax, the council members had unanimously given their consent.  He said that besides the council members, the government of Gilgit-Baltistan was also on board and it had also supported the levy of income tax. The officer said that steps were being taken to open income tax offices in the region and in this regard the FBR had been requested to appoint officials. The income tax officers will be collecting the tax on the Pattern of the FBR from all employees and traders of the region. The officer was of the view that imposition of the tax would improve the financial health of the provincial government. At the moment, not only the provincial government but also the council secretariat in Islamabad are also facing financial constraints, he added. He said with the imposition of the tax, the government can stand on its own feet and spend the money on launching welfare projects in accordance with the needs of the area.  ]]>

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