KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has that the provincial governments were very close to consumers, therefore, they should have the rights to collect sales tax on goods.

This he said talking to a delegation of CPNE led by its President Zia Shahid, General Secretary Aijazul Haq and other office bearers who met him here at the CM House on Saturday.

The chief minister said that his government was working in close coordination with the federal government to finalise the NFC award.

“The stand of my government is very clear- just we want the provincial government should have the rights to collect sales tax on goods,” he said and added the provincial government was very close to the consumers and it could collect sales tax on goods in a better way and could expand the collection net. The collected amount may be distributed by the federal government amongst the provinces as per share.

Giving an example of collection of sales tax on services, the chief minister said that ever since the Sindh government has been given the collection right, the provincial government has made record collection.

“Just last year we have collected Rs61 billion and this year we have set a target of Rs78 billion,” he said and recalled that the federal government used to give hardly Rs8.6 billion to the Sindh government.

Replying to another question, he said that he had raised the issues of exorbitant toll tax being collected at M-9 (Super Highway and now Motorway), number of collection booths and requirement of dualisation of Jamshoro-Sehwan Road.

“I had also told him that the construction of M-9 has claimed a number of lives,” he said.

On this Qazi Asad said that 650 people died in road accident during the construction of M-9. The chief minister said that the prime minister announced to dualisation of Jamshoro-Sehwan Road in his speech and latter assured him that he would personally look into the issue of exorbitant toll tax.

The CPNE member also said that the quality of Motorway was not of a Motorway standard.

Talking about the powers of the mayor, Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the mayor and other local bodies have been given full municipal functions. Their funding transfer system has also been streamlined.

Presently, the government was giving more than Rs60 billion to local bodies. “Actually, the local bodies people want the power they had under Musharraf arrangement,” he said and added that the Musharraf’s arrangement of local bodies powers were aimed at weakening the provincial government.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) has been included in the CPEC for which the provincial government was working hard to meet the requirement of the CPEC formalities. ‘I am sure we would start work on KCR by October or November,” he said.

Those who attended the meeting include Shaheen Qureshi, Aamer Mahmood, Wamiq Zuberi, Imtiaz Alam, Dr Jabbar Khatak, Qazi asad Abid and others.