Excise and taxation: Property tax increase reels in money, complaints

Business community disputes over increase in rate to 50%.

Imran Rana October 15, 2014

FAISALABAD: Directorate of Excise and Taxation in Faisalabad has collected around Rs430-440 million after the 50% increase in property tax, which is Rs160 million in excess to the recovery last year, according to Director Excise and Taxation Rana Intikhab Hussain.

He was addressing a meeting at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Wednesday, which was also attended by representatives of various trade associations in addition to the executive members of the FCCI.

Hussain noted reservations of the business community on the 50% increase property tax instead of the accepted 20-25% and added that a high level meeting is scheduled to be held at Lahore on Thursday and he will try his best to convey the reservations in this meeting.

He added that there is a zero-tolerance policy with regards to administrative matters.

“No employee could dare to create unnecessary problems for an individual”, he said, adding that in case of a complaint, it would be addressed positively within three days.

On the topic of licence fee, he said that it was a district government tax, which is being collected by its own staff. However, he assured that problems regarding this would be conveyed to the District Coordination Officer.

He said that his directorate made strenuous efforts and maximum notices were issued on the 50% increase and a 5% concession for the bill’s in-time payment.  He thanked the cooperation of the business community in the payment of taxes and other liabilities.

The director also assured that the property system was being computerised which would further reduce the chances of corruption or harassment of taxpayers.  Meanwhile, FCCI President Rizwan Ashraf appreciated the cooperation of the director of Excise and Taxation in resolving the issues relating to his department.

However, he said that various trade associations from the platform of FCCI had unanimously agreed to increase the PT by 20-25%, but it has been increased by 50%. He demanded an immediate decrease in view of the economic recession and commitment of the government. He said that the government and its departments fully consulted business community on PT issue but their recommendations and suggestions need to be given due importance in policymaking.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2014.

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