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LAHORE: The Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) has decided to closely monitor the sales of marriage halls, marquees and caterers for which 11 special vigilance teams consisting of enforcement officers have been formed by dividing jurisdictions among different officers.

“The marriage halls, marquees and caterers continue to avoid taxes or pay less tax on services they are providing. Therefore, a decision has been taken after evaluating the declarations filed by the service providers allegedly involved in massive suppression of their sales,” said a PRA spokesperson.

In the first two days after evaluating the declarations, the authority unearthed over 30 cases of marriage halls providing taxable services without obtaining the mandatory registration under the Punjab Sales Tax on Services Act, 2012. In 2015, on the request of various marriage halls and caterer associations, the Punjab government had reduced the sales tax on these services from 16 to five per cent. And in return, the trade bodies had to persuade their members to get registered with the authority.

“The government accepted the associations’ demands, but they could not keep their pledge due to differences among their ranks. Therefore, the authority is now going to propose to the government to withdraw this concessionary notification to tax these services at standard rates,” she added.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2017