PTI’s office sealed for ‘tax default’, then desealed

Published: November 22, 2011

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s deputy information secretary tries to break open the lock using a brick. PHOTO: NNI

LAHORE: The Excise and Taxation Department (E&T ) on Tuesday sealed Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)’s office on Jail Road for non-payment of property tax but it was opened shortly after, when the chief minister told the department to de-seal it.

An official of the department said that the party owed Rs350,128 in property tax. The PTI paid the outstanding amount on Tuesday and showed it to the members of the press later in the afternoon.

PTI’s Lahore region president, Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed called the move a “cheap tactic” that the Punjab government had resorted to after the party’s successful October 30 public meeting at Minar-i-Pakistan. He said that the office had been sealed with Shahbaz Sharif’s approval otherwise “the E&T Department would not have dared seal the building”.

Rasheed told reporters that the office had been sealed a day before the deadline set by the department to deposit the tax. “The last date was November 23 [today]. The E&T Department sealed our office a day before, which is clear injustice,” he said.

The party’s Lahore region president also objected to being issued a tax bill of Rs350,128. “Last year we paid Rs25,000 as tax. This year the government sent us a bill that is more than ten times what we paid last year,” he said. Rasheed said that the building from which PTI was operating had not been rented.

According to him, the building was owned by his cousin Mian Hameed, which he had ‘donated’ to the party. Hameed does not charge any rent for the building, he said, adding that the tax invoice made no sense.

When asked if the PTI planned on challenging the tax charged in court, he ruled out the possibility, saying that the party would highlight the issue in the media.

He asked that the Sharifs show receipts of the tax they paid for their offices in Model Town. Rasheed also demanded that the Punjab government suspend from service the official who had sealed their office. Otherwise, he said, the PTI will take out a rally protesting against the Punjab government on Friday.

E&T Inspector Muhammad Arif, who sealed the building, denied all of Rasheed’s allegations.

“He is trying to mislead the people. We sealed the office as part of our campaign against tax defaulters,” he said, adding that the department had also sealed other offices in Gulberg as part of the same drive.

Arif said that according to The Urban Immovable Property Tax Act, 1958 the annual tax came to around Rs119,000. “For the last three years, the owners have only being paying a fraction of what they actually owe,” the department official said. The owners paid Rs25,000 in 2008-09 and Rs50,000 in 2010-11, he said, adding that the invoice for more than Rs350,000 was issued after calculating what the owners owed for years past.

To Rasheed’s statement that the building had been donated, he said that if anyone other than the owner used the building, they automatically fall within the definition of a tenant, meaning that the tax rate would be higher.

“If a party is using the building instead of an individual, then it is the defaulter,” he said.

When asked whether the department had sealed the party office a day before the deadline for payment of the tax, Arif said that the deadline was November 22. The inspector said that it was not until after the department had sealed the building that PTI office bearers had asked that they be given until November 23 to deposit the tax.

He said that whoever had doubts could see the date and time stamp on the voucher that he had issued to the party, extending the deadline. “It was issued after the building was sealed,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2011.

Reader Comments (52)

  • Rana
    Nov 22, 2011 - 12:05PM

    Bashing Imran is new upcoming trend, just look at Dawn and Tribune articles, 95% are utterly against him :(…
    “First they IGNORE you, then they LAUGH at you, then they FIGHT you, then you WIN.” Mahatma Gandhi
    for last 16 years they were Ignoring n laughing at him, now IK is in 3rd phase, He and his supporters have to face wholeheartedly to reach the success

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  • waqar
    Nov 22, 2011 - 12:08PM

    and they they are asking other people to declare their assets and pay taxes. :)

    oh yes, it was just to ‘maligan’ PTI and stop the so called ‘revolution’

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  • Mannan
    Nov 22, 2011 - 12:14PM

    Cheap tactics

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  • Nov 22, 2011 - 12:15PM

    Pressure tactics by the Punjab Government. It is good they are feeling the heat.

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  • gp65
    Nov 22, 2011 - 12:30PM

    “The office of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) located at Jail Road in Lahore opened after being temporarily sealed earlier in Tuesday morning due to non-payment of taxes”.

    And this is the man who says he will doulbe tax collection in the country in 3 months because he will lead by example.

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  • Nov 22, 2011 - 12:45PM

    good luck PTI……….

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  • Pakistani first
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:03PM

    The IK bashers will have a field day on this one..

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  • Muhammad Imran
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:06PM

    The due date was on 23rd of November and they sealed today? moreover govt takes property tax on commercial buildings where as Party office can not be categorized in commercial office for GOD SAKE!!..cheap tactics played by status quo forces..the more you pressurize us the more we will motivate inshaALLAHRecommend

  • Fahad Shaikh
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:10PM

    Mr. Khan… Just be prepared… The Sharifs are not going to let you relax. The 30Oct (Lahore Jalsa) was the biggest to hurt their rein over the city and now they would turn the most hostile to you than ever.

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  • mentelisco
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:15PM

    Shairfs this is low! shame on you

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  • Vaqar - UK
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:21PM

    Just goes to show that the PML(N) government will utilise all dirty tricks to discredit PTI.

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  • Khalid
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:23PM

    Some times I do wonder whether it is establishment or the stupidity of PML N that is making PTI household name. The moment PTI needs something to boost them PML N is there. Be it 28 October Jalsa or now the property tax drama…

    If their is any noble prize of stupidity, the winner will be Shareefs of PML N…

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  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:34PM

    Govt.of Punjab has stooped so low !! I never expected this from Shehbaz Sharif but then with the type of advisers he has, anything is possible !!!!

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  • Ali
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:45PM

    Imran Khan and PTI should clean their own home first before doing something else.

    Tax default should not be accepted as a political tactic. PTI should admit its default and pay the taxes. In the same way, it asks everybody else to do.

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  • ali
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:51PM

    Sharif brothers can not rise beyond the personal vendata, even in the politics.
    They did not learn enough from their 8 years exile from the Pakistan politics, true, nature can never be changed.

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  • Awais
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:54PM

    Just to tell every body…The tax issue was with owner of the building not PTI…PTI was only occupying part of it…and secondly Owner had paid taxes for all three years

    The only issue excise now asked for a commercial tax with notice to be deposited by 23rd nov…they didn’t wait for the deadline and sealed it before the mentioned deadline…Recommend

  • mansour
    Nov 22, 2011 - 1:55PM

    This is just shameful. I wonder why CM is not running after those who are evading taxes in millions of rupees. The act of sealing a PTI office goes to show how scared CM is of the rising popularity of PTI. However, this is just shameful.

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  • Khalid Javed
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:02PM

    PTI is fighting for a Truthful Cause & can bear all mudslinging, personal attacks & arms-twisting. Truth is like a springboard, the harder you press the higher it goes.

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  • correct option
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:13PM

    PTI Punjab President’s name is Ahsan Rasheed. ET, please make the correction.

    Thanks

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  • Javed Basit Hassan
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:16PM

    PTI is a party of the clean but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t pay it’s taxes. PTI needs to set example for others to follow.

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  • sonia
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:20PM

    @Rana:
    imram is no Mahatma Gandhi,

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  • Faizan
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:23PM

    Revolution-in-progress !

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  • Saud
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:23PM

    Rasheed said that the Excise and Taxation Department had imposed commercial tax rather than domestic tax, although the secretariat operates in a house donated by a PTI supporter.

    1) A party office is a commercial activity and commercial tax is applicable,
    2) Commercial activity is not allowed in residential areas without obtaining approval and paying commercialization charges.

    PTI, Pay your taxes like you ask others to.

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  • fahad
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:28PM

    Y r u critisizing CM. hes the one dat gave orders straight away after taking notice. who ever did this should give an explanation.u cant hold CM responisble for everything. hes a nice guy give him a break guys!

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  • mujee
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:42PM

    rubbish,cheap politics what else can i say.

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  • Adeel Ahmed
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:49PM

    Tax last date 23 Nov and seal a day before. Whats this?

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  • RizwanTKhan
    Nov 22, 2011 - 3:02PM

    Nothing new, this is a trend now to bash PTI. An old dirty political move and many TV channels and Newspapers are getting huge kickbacks to bash PTI. We are ok with it since whoever is on the rise, gets the highest bashing.

    GO PTI!!! Pakistan is with U.

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  • Word Life
    Nov 22, 2011 - 3:10PM

    @Sonia, are you from India or too bias to see that @Rana has only shared a quotation. Did he stepped on a nerve?

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  • Word Life
    Nov 22, 2011 - 3:12PM

    @Saud, PML-N is not going to win back their lost groundRecommend

  • Hades
    Nov 22, 2011 - 3:29PM

    First the firing on PTI offices and now this. It shows how dirty status quo forces are.

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  • HAYAT Muhammad
    Nov 22, 2011 - 4:55PM

    When media publishes and send on air the live transmission of IK it is good, and when they just criticise they are getting kickbacks. Be mature. it is not a political norm that you reply in the just commentary by attacking on media. Additionally it is the tax deptt to do the duty whereas Shehbaz Sharif opened it. good, and shehbaz sharif will not do the things in present times which even hurt himself. Be mature girls and guys. Dont believe in rumors, just taken action by vote for change if you need.

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  • zeeshan
    Nov 22, 2011 - 5:14PM

    poor tactics by ILL BrothersRecommend

  • QB
    Nov 22, 2011 - 5:59PM

    PML-N is in utter panic. What a shame. But it’s good that their face is becoming clearer by day.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Nov 22, 2011 - 6:19PM

    @waqar: If the tax was due on 23nov why was the office sealed before that?

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  • vega
    Nov 22, 2011 - 6:33PM

    I can see that some foolish people jumped to commenting on the story as soon as reading the heading…………..didnt bother to read the full story which says that they had not defaulted and the due date had not passed………………….grow up u ppl

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  • Rizwan Ullah
    Nov 22, 2011 - 6:46PM

    Future of our country is in our hands….so it is request to all youth to take part in politics and choose right peoples…i think it is better if v give chance to PTI…….performance of PPP and PMLN is infront of you…so support PTI to became sincere citizen….

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  • Insha
    Nov 22, 2011 - 6:48PM

    From last 15 years Imran Khan was fighting alone. But now a majority of pakistan’s youth is fighting with him. We will win this InshaAllah

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  • imran
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:18PM

    just say …PTI now on da rock ……………..

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  • Ashar
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:24PM

    To all Imran bashers, the office was sealed on 22 whereas the last date of payment was 23 November 2011. Now you tell me why was the office sealed? Also, in case of non payment even on the last date, you never ever take this action. By law you are required to send reminders after the due date.

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  • kashan
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:29PM

    Dirty politics is being by pmln, it shows how scared they are from pti.office sealed before the date lols man what a way to discredit pti, All pti supporters plz stay united and dont indulge urself in pmln dirty propaganda. IMran khan zindabad.

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  • Ali
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:37PM

    @Sonia:
    Yeh he is no Gandhi.. He is better ;) .. He is a CORNERED TIGER.. he is the IDEA whos time has come

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  • superdude
    Nov 22, 2011 - 7:51PM

    The tax collection due was 23rd November no doubt . This was just to harm the PTI’s stand on collection of taxes. They wanted to show that PTI doesn’t itself pay taxes and they’re asking others to pay them. Everybody knows whats going on here. Recommend

  • sana
    Nov 22, 2011 - 8:04PM

    Good Luck PTI jiyalla’s … IK is best man .Recommend

  • faraz
    Nov 22, 2011 - 8:28PM

    If his office was closed for a while for any tax issue, then is it Imran bashing? Such minor things occur everyday

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  • jamil
    Nov 22, 2011 - 8:30PM

    PML N trying relentlessly to defame PTI. it is good for PTI bcz as much they oppose as much you prosper. shame on nawaz sharif n shabaz sharif who dont pay income taxes themselves. nalaik league

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  • Nov 22, 2011 - 9:26PM

    Deadline for Tax Payment was 23rd Nov 2011.
    Over-Efficient Tax Officials became “Shah se Zyada Shah k Wafadar” and sealed the PTI Office a day before the deadline expired.
    Tax has been paid. The receipt is here…
    Receipt of Tax Paid for PTI Office in Lahore

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Nov 22, 2011 - 11:31PM

    I sincerely hope Imran does not keep Revolution files at this place, Please keep them at some secured place.

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  • Nasir Aziz
    Nov 23, 2011 - 12:41AM

    @gp65: Did you even read the article? PTI office was sealed before the due date, plus this is no way to treat such matters. Official payment notices are sent if that is actually the case first.

    Anyway the Sharif brethren have shown themselves to be desperate goons through this incident. They have made themselves look bad and helped PTI show PML(N) in negative light. Sharifs think this is the 80′s when their crap will not go unnoticed. People are aware – so keep bringing this on to expedite your political death! Recommend

  • Sherry
    Nov 23, 2011 - 1:30AM

    I think they have made a grave strategic blunder by doing that. Now the PTI assets cell has got another mandate of checking whether all their political offices are paying tax or not. And if yes, how much??

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  • Nov 23, 2011 - 2:51AM

    thanks Tehreek-e-Insaf FATA for sharing

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  • Saladin
    Nov 23, 2011 - 11:37PM

    @Ch Allah Daad:
    Choi saab you got nothing but to Bash Imran. Change your stance otherwise it will harm you..Recommend

  • aysha majeed
    Nov 24, 2011 - 12:35PM

    PTI claims to be a party of youth, on TV talk shows has anybody ever seen PTI represented by anybody under 35, where is PTI’s MUSTAFA KAMAL

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