The traders demanded Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to establish a proper system for the assessment of property tax being collected from land or property holders. They said that presently there is no proper system to measure a property tax, as officials of Excise & Taxation Department are collecting the levy arbitrarily.
Those who offer bribe are being charged a very nominal amount from the officials who declare their property cheaper or inexpensive as per their own wishes. And the share of this money, which amounts to millions of rupees, also goes to high officials including the secretary, they said. “That is why no one can take action or complain against these inspectors, who openly demand bribe from the land holders,” they said.
All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran president Khalid Perviaz said that Punjab government makes hew and cry against the corruption of federal government, but it never bothers to see the same dishonesty and malpractices by the Excise & Taxation Department officials, who are collecting hundreds of thousands of rupees in a single day by getting commission from the property owners, instead of collecting official tax.
“And who want to pay tax, their property is evaluated so high that he cannot afford to pay original tax and no one is there to take action against these officials or even listen to the complainants,” he added. Muhammad Arshad, a resident of G-Block Gulshan-e-Ravi, owns two properties in Property Tax Zone No9, including residential (293-G) 10-marla and commercial shop No 345C in Jinnah Market, G-Block. Talking to The Nation, he alleged that Excise & Taxation inspector Ghiyasuddin, has imposed very excessive and undue tax on him as a punishment, adding that “I want to pay original tax instead of offering bribe to him”.
He said that the same inspector had imposed the tax for same property as Rs 10,000 each last year. He claimed that he possessed the receipts in this regard. But this year, the inspector is harassing him and his family due to refusal of bribe, imposing the tax up to Rs40,000 for same property. Arshad also wrote a letter on May 19 to Fawad Hassan Fawad, Secretary Excise & Taxation, saying that the assessing authority of the zone is evaluating property tax arbitrarily, having no set pattern or formula.
He demanded the authorities to check the record of tax collection from the area and make a comparison of the levy collected from each land holder of the area, which will clearly indicate that there is no proper assessment system of imposing levy and the officials are free to do wahatever they want.