Paying rent: Faisal Cantt’s decision to impose house tax challenged

SHC issues notice on petitions filed by KWSB, KESC and CAA.

Our Correspondent August 09, 2012

KARACHI: Three different government organizations have approached the Sindh High Court challenging the decision of the Faisal Cantonment Board to impose ‘house tax’ on the residential colonies meant for their staff.

After hearing arguments on a number of petitions on Wednesday, a division bench of the high court, comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Nadeem Akhtar, issued notices to Cantonment Board Faisal.

The main petition was filed by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board against imposition of house tax in its four colonies in the territorial jurisdiction of the Faisal Cantonment Board which has asked for the payment of Rs56,550 as house tax on 91 houses and six bungalows in the COD colony till the year 2001.

The KWSB in its petition maintained that it was a public service utility and was a part of the city administration. It caters to needs of millions of people in Karachi on ‘no profit and no loss’ basis and thus, any tax on its installations or residential facilities for its staff would eventually be a burden on the people.

The KWSB’s counsel, Abrar Hasan, requested the bench to declare the Faisal Board’s house tax as illegal.

The Karachi Electric Supply Company also filed a similar petition against the imposition of house tax on its installations and facilities.

The Sindh High Court was approached by the Civil Aviation Authority after the Faisal Cantonment Board asked it make a payment of Rs54,759,000 on account of the extension in the limits of the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport.

But the counsel for the Civil Aviation Authority told the bench that they had reached an understanding with Faisal Cantt and would be withdrawing the petition soon. After issuing notice to Faisal Cantt the bench adjourned the hearing to an unspecified date.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.



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