Taxing work: CDA fails to collect almost Rs1 billion in property taxes

Most of the bigger defaulters are commercial enterprises and housing societies.


Obaid Abbasi April 29, 2014
The revenue directorate failed to recover Rs924.74million from different owners of commercial, residential and housing societies. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:


The Capital Development Authority (CDA) seems to have little interest in recovering millions in overdue property taxes, with the delinquent amount adding up to almost Rs1 billion.


According to a CDA internal audit report, the revenue directorate failed to recover Rs924.74million from different owners of commercial, residential and housing societies. The CDA ordinance binds the civic body to collect property taxes in the capital, but in some cases, the CDA has failed to collect taxes for over two years.

The auditor pointed out that the directorate’s failure was due to weak internal controls.

Among the pack leaders, the document shows that commercial defaulters owed Rs310 million, while individual housing societies such as National Police Foundation (NPF) and Multi Professional Cooperative Society (MPCHS) had a combined overdue bill of Rs281 million.

The report further stated that on January 22, 2013, the Departmental Audit Committee (DAC) showed its concern and directed the relevant directorate to recover taxes after verification from the audit within 15 days. It has been 462 days, but there are no signs of progress on the compliance front.

The owners of commercial and residential housing societies were not only big defaulters, with the prestigious National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) also on the list, with a delinquent bill of Rs41.68m, which the university has challenged, arguing it should be waived in line with policies governing recognised educational institutions.

CDA Finance Member Sher Bahadar Arbab admitted that the authority could not achieve its target of roughly Rs1 billion, however, he claimed that almost 600 million has been recovered in the ongoing year.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2014.

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