70 women hostels running unregistered

Zahid Gishkori April 18, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Some 70 women’s hostels are being run in the capital as unregistered businesses, The Express Tribune learnt on Saturday.

Millions of rupees are earned by private hostel owners every month. However, they do not pay taxes like other business owners. C

hief Executive Al-Rehman Group of Girls Hostels Azra Azhar told The Express Tribune on Saturday that she has been “running seven women’s hostels and regularly paying (personal) tax to the government for 11 years.”

She admitted that no private hostel was registered under any authority - the social welfare ministry, Capital Development Authority or any other. “That is why hostels owners are not paying taxes to the Federal Board of Revenue,” she said.

The government should arrange a meeting with the owners so that these hostels can be registered, she said. Unregistered hostels are located in various residential areas of the capital. These include the Pakeeza Group of Hostels in I-9, Al-Huda Group of Hostels in G-9, Rubab Girls Hostels in Sector F-8, Al- Asar Group of Hostels in G-9, Islamabad Girls Hostels, Youth Group of Hostels and Siddiqui Group of Hostels.

“Hostels must be registered so that this business is brought under the net of tax payers,” Afzal Hussain Agha, the chief executive of Pakistan Youth Hostel, said.

These businesses are illegal as they are not paying taxes despite earning millions, Joint Secretary Dr Muhammad Ali told The Express Tribune on Saturday.

“An association (of hostels) should be made … for establishment of fair business,” he added. “Anyone, who runs a business in the state but does not show his annual assets is violating the FBR’s Income Tax Act,” Muhammad Ikram Chaudhry, a senior lawyer, told The Express Tribune.

“The hostel owners, even if they are paying personal taxes, are running illegal businesses,” Chaudhry said. Ramzan Sajid, CDA spokesperson, said: “We issued notices to such hostels that are being run illegally and imposed hefty fines on them. A few months ago, we served dozens of notices to various businessmen [who had not taken permission from] the civic body.”

Some will argue that these hostels have been established for the welfare of women.

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