Galiyat tourism sector exempted from provincial taxes

KP cabinet approves compensation for journalists killed in line of duty

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) cabinet on Tuesday exempted the hospitality sector, including corporate and non-corporate, located in Kaghan and Galiyat valleys and registered with the KP Revenue Authority from all previous outstanding liabilities of default surcharge and penalties except principal tax liability.

However, the default surcharge or penalty already paid will not be refunded.

The decision was made on the demand of the Tourism Association of Kaghan Valley, Anjuman-e-Tajiran Nathia Gali and the Galiyat Hotel Association, said Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, special assistant to the KP CM while briefing the media about the cabinet decisions.

The cabinet also approved the Food Fortification Act 2021 to ensure the presence of major vitamins in indigenous as well as imported essential food items such as flour and ghee etc.

The special assistant told the media that the cabinet approved the establishment of an endowment fund for transgender, initially allocating Rs100 million for the purpose. “Through this fund, transgender people will be provided interest-free loans to start small businesses. Similarly, government officers will be trained to facilitate transgender people in various fields. The chief minister directed the finance department to frame rules regarding the endowment fund,” he said.

The cabinet, he said, accorded approval to Journalists Welfare Endowment Fund Rules 2021 whereby Rs1 million will be provided to the family of a journalist killed during an act of terrorism. “Similarly, a permanently disabled journalist will be given a one-time grant of Rs0.2 million. Apart from that, journalists with 30 years’ experience will be given a monthly stipend of Rs10,000 until the age of 60 years.

Barrister Saif said that the cabinet also approved rules to implement minimum wages in letter and spirit.

“The cabinet approved a grant-in-aid of Rs150 million for the establishment of Khpal Kor Nursing and Health Sciences College in Swat,” he said, adding that the cabinet approved a resolution to empower the provincial agriculture department to fix tobacco rate and carry out research work.

The provincial cabinet also relaxed a ban on the procurement of vehicles for the district and sessions judge, additional district and sessions judge and senior civil judge appointed in Upper Chitral.

The cabinet granted approval to the Fiscal Responsibilities and Debt Management Act 2021 with the aim to fix limits for loans, regularize schedule and procedure of payments as well as to ensure transparency in financial matters.

The cabinet also empowered the Auqaf administrator to initiate legal proceedings against publishers for making mistakes intentionally or unintentionally in the publication/printing of the Holy Quran.

The provincial cabinet through a notification included the command area of Gomal Zam dam in the Canal and Drainage Act 1873 whereby water flowing in the area will be available for the use of the public. The cabinet also approved the appointment of Manzoor Ahmad as the chief executive officer (CEO) for KP Transmission and Grid System Company. The cabinet also approved the standardization of 200 higher secondary schools.

The special assistant said that the cabinet approved Digital Skill Development Program worth Rs5 billion.

The cabinet deliberated upon the establishment of a hospital in Peshawar in the first phase through public-private partnership. “The same will be extended to other parts of the province after successful implementation of the project in the provincial metropolis,” he added.

The cabinet constituted a committee to prepare recommendations for the merger of Malakand Levies in police. The committee’s recommendations will be tabled in the next meeting of the cabinet.

The meeting was chaired by KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and attended by cabinet members, chief secretary, additional chief secretary, SMBR and administrative secretaries among others.

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