LAHORE - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Friday rejected increase in property tax rates and called for its downward revision. At a meeting with MNA Pervez Malik and Secretary Excise & Taxation Khalid Masood, the LCCI President called a spade a spade and termed the raise in property tax against business interests.

The meeting was also addressed by LCCI Senior Vice president Mian Nauman Kabir, Vice President Syed Mehmood Ghaznavi, former Presidents Sheikh Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Ali Mian, former Senior Vice Presidents Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Mian Tariq Misbah.

The meeting, which continued for well over an hour, discussed new property tax rates in detail. On the occasion, a six-member committee was also formed comprising officials of the Tax Department, Syed Mehmood Ghaznavi, Sheikh Muhammad Asif, Muhmmad Ali Mian and Nasir Saeed. The committee would prepare its recommendations that would be submitted to the Chief Minister Punjab.

The Secretary Excise & Taxation Khalid Masood also directed the Director General to have meeting with the representatives of different markets and trade associations to assertion their feedback on property tax rate. LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry had received a number of complaints from its members against increase in the property tax. He said that the unfortunate part is that the industry located in rural areas is served tax notices with footage measurement by the TMOs. He said that wherever industry is situated it is considered an industrial area. He said that industry in rural area must not be treated as in urban area.

He said that keeping in view the present scenario such actions are bound to cause irreparable damage to socio economic structure which would ultimately hit the present regime.

He proposed that both the provincial and federal governments should come out with a formula about the maximum and minimum percentage of one’s income and what the person or people should expect in return.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that government must initiate Public Private Dialogue to resolve the issues of business doing people who are backbone of the

economy.

Citing an example he pointed out that in Lahore Davis Road and MM Alam Roads have been put in A category though the commercial value of property at M M Alam Road is many times higher than that at Davis Road. Moreover he added the excise department determines the property tax on the basis of rent charged at M M Alam Road while the rental value at Davis Road is 1/3rd. He said such discrepancies should be addressed to make the system more transparent.