An amendment to the Finance Bill should be made in the upcoming budget to register (and consequently pay tax for) vehicles such as dumpers, Qingqi rickshaws and tractors, recommended the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday.
The officials, who were discussing the audit reports of the excise and taxation department, were headed by PAC chairman Jam Tamachi Unar. “An ordinance was promulgated during Ziaul Haq’s regime, exempting dumpers from registration,” he said. “We have to make amendments to the law to bring these vehicles within the tax net.” Registering these vehicles will contribute a hefty amount to the national exchequer. “I advise you to issue show-cause notices of three months to owners of unregistered vehicles before initiating a crackdown against them.”
Excise and taxation secretary Manzoor Memon said that 80,000 to 100,000 unregistered Qingqi rickshaws were on the roads. “We can earn over Rs200 million by registering them,” he said. Memon said that dumpers cause most road accidents and “…since they are not registered, it is always difficult to trace them.” When asked about the Rs800 million scam, in which officials of the motor vehicle tax and the National Bank were involved, he said that they had started an inquiry last year and those involved were suspended.
Audit director-general Najmul Saqib Siddiqi presented the reports for the department from 2006 to 2009. Various excise and taxation officers did not recover the Rs29 million in property tax during the year 2005-2006. The department secretary said that Rs6 million was recovered and the rest was being looked into.
Unar said that no one expected a positive result from the taxation officials since they were corrupt. “They visit shops and markets and return with bribes.”
The chairman advised the secretary to coordinate with the KESC and registrar’s office to disconnect defaulters. For his part, the secretary said that they had developed a database for the department. The PAC asked the secretary to take action against drug users but the secretary said that it did not fall under their domain.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ