MULTAN-Tanzeem Tajran Pakistan Chairman Suleman Siddique said Wednesday they would not accept ‘illegal’ raise in rent of shops of Auqaf Department.

Holding a press conference along with dozens of shopkeepers at local press club on Wednesday, Khawaja Suleman Siddique stated that government could enhance rent 25 percent after three years as per law. He stated that the traders were regularly paying rent and also following the defined criteria for increase in rents after three years. He stated that traders would respond aggressively in case any move was done to enhance rent beyond set criteria.

When APP contacted Administrator Auqaf Department Ziaul Mustafa, he said the new rents were adjust after Waqf Property Rules 2002. It clearly mentioned that government would get rent as per market rates. He said that average rent of shops was nearly 3000 in Auqaf. However, in general markets, the rent of the same sort of shop was nearly 30,000. He termed this gap huge and stated that traders should pay rent as per market rates.

To a query, he said that there were nearly 600 shops, in Auqaf Department Multan. Zia also said that Auqaf Department served notices on shopkeepers regarding increase in rent but the shopkeepers did not respond. He stated that shopkeepers should contact Auqaf Department to express their due concern.

MDA served notice

Excise and Taxation department issued warning of action against Multan Development Authority (MDA) for not paying its outstanding property tax arrears, official source said on Wednesday.

Following this, notices undersigned Director Excise Abdullah Khan were served separately on DG, director finance and director management of MDA to implement the order. The authority was stated to have not submitted Rs 4 million outstanding tax to Excise department, despite serving notice on January 3.

The notice available with this agency outlined as ‘...In view of the above it is requested that the outstanding amount in respect of MDA may got cleared in the best interest of the government revenue as the government was pressing hard for the clearance of outstanding amounts on top priority basis.

Markets including Zakariya Center under jurisdiction of MDA had not cleared about Rs4 million tax for the past five-year. Excise official issued fresh warning of sealing the said properties if the authority could fail to submit requisite amount immediately.