Faisalabad’s poor to bear the brunt of new taxes

Municipal Corporation to impose fee, taxes on vegetable, fruit sellers

Shamsul Islam January 31, 2017

FAISALABAD: The Faisalabad Municipal Corporation (FMC) has decided to impose various taxes and 100% recovery of fees and other levies in a bid to launch new development projects for improving basic civic infrastructure of the city.

The decision was taken in a meeting which was chaired by FMC Mayor Abdul Razaq Malik on Tuesday.

The FMC also decided that only fruits, vegetables and other product sellers shall be permitted to sell their products within the city area after acquiring formal tickets to run their carts.   For the first time in the history of the FMC, it decided to expand the scope of taxation and targeted the vegetable, fruits and other sellers.

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According to decision, the cart sellers will be responsible to pay taxes on monthly basis for which special tickets will be issued.

The FMC will also issue national flags and special FMC monograms to the cart owners who will display them on their carts after making the payment on monthly basis.

The FMC also decided to impose tax on erecting of publicity and all types of signboards in front of the shops. It was made obligatory for the traders to display and erect similar publicity boards and sheds.

The meeting also decided the tax branch will put up its detailed suggestions and recommendations for levying of different fees and taxes on new items so as to generate more revenue.

The meeting decided to place ‘complaint box’ on the entrance of all eight bazaars of the city wherein the citizens, traders or anyone can put his grievance, suggestion and complaints round-the-clock. All such complaints will be referred to the concerned section on daily basis and the heads of the section will be responsible to resolve complaints on priority basis.

While addressing the meeting, Mayor Abdul Razaq said the condition of the slaughtered houses would improve and all modern facilities will be provided for keeping sanitation condition up to the standards.

The Mayor also directed the health section of the FMC to ensure that only healthy animals should be allowed to slaughter in the slaughter house.

The Mayor also directed the deputy mayors and anti-encroachment squad to take immediate steps to save the citizens from the wrath of the encroachment.

The mayor regretted that encroachment in all eight bazaars and along the city roads had created a number of problems and affected the beauty of the city.

Meanwhile, Anjuman Rari Wala president Rana Muhamamd Sajjad has criticised the move of FMC for imposing fee and taxes on cart and said, “It will be a severe blow to the poor class.”

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He added, “With the imposition of such taxes, poor cart driven sellers will suffer. Acquiring registration and paying taxes on monthly basis would not be an easy task besides they have to enhance prices of saleable products which will aggravate their suffering.”

Meanwhile, Aftab Ahmad, President of the Consumer Protection Society, also lamented the decision of the FMC and termed it an unprecedented move. “The ordinary citizens are already suffering owing to price hike of commodities and this decision will further burden them,” he added.

He maintained, “It is the duty of the FMC to call objections from the general public before taking any decision for imposing new fees and taxes on the citizens. Without following such procedure, it is nothing but an arbitrary decision and we will oppose it at all forums.” He warned, “We will not hesitate to protest on roads if the decision is not withdrawn.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2017.

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