Sindh waives off multiple taxes for three months as relief amid COVID-19 crisis


Passersby walk past an advertisement board with photos of Pakistani rupee at a money exchange along a sidewalk in Karachi, Pakistan, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/Files

KARACHI: The government of Sindh on Thursday announced to waive off multiple taxes for three months as part of its relief to the people amid the coronavirus-hit economy.

The provincial government “has exempted payment of property tax, professional tax, motor vehicle tax, and entertainment duty for a period of 3 months from 1st April to 30th June, 2020”, Sindh government spokesperson Senator Murtaza Wahab said on Twitter.

Wahab added that the move was aimed at providing relief for “various segments of society”.

According to the notifications he shared on his Twitter account, the Sindh government would “remit 25% (i.e. for 03 months) of the payment” of all these taxes for the year 2019-20. Those who have already paid, however, “will get an adjustment of 25% remission in their tax liability during next financial year i.e. 2020-21”.

The motor vehicle tax exemption, as per the relevant notification, was applicable on loaders, motorcycle rickshaws (MCR), including rickshaws and qingqis, mini buses, mini trucks, pickups, coasters, delivery vans, station wagons, taxis, and vans.

Pakistan has so far recorded almost 11,000 cases of and 230 deaths from the novel coronavirus. Province-wise, Punjab is leading with over 3,600 cases, while Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan having reported 3,671, 1,453, and 607 cases, respectively.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday warned that the number of estimated coronavirus cases in Pakistan could rise to 200,000 by mid-July if “effective interventions” were not taken.

Speaking at the launch of the “Pakistan National Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan” virtual conference, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said funding required for the plan was $595 million, which would be allocated to support various measures.

“Without effective interventions there could be an estimated 200K+ cases by mid-July. The impacts on the economy could be devastating, doubling the number of people living in poverty,” he said.

“We must act in solidarity, with a coherent, coordinated approach.”

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