The Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) said that Multan is the largest taxpaying region of the country for textile, oil, agriculture and other related sectors but it is not given development funds in proportion with its tax contribution.

Addressing the members of a delegation comprising trainee officers from 21st Midcareer Management Course of Civil Services Academy here on Wednesday, MCCI Senior Vice President Mian Ata Shafi Tanveer added that the residents of the area were hard working, intelligent and capable despite scarcity of resources.

He pointed out that the business infrastructure of the area needed to be revamped besides development projects so that the increasing ratio of unemployment could be brought down. He stressed the civil services officers to make an all-out effort to bring positive changes in administrative and public sectors of the country. He further asked them to discharge their duties with honesty and discourage the culture of corruption.

Speaking on the occasion, Mirza Ali Ahmad, former vice president of the MCCI, said that the tax culture could not be promoted until the environment of fear was eliminated. He said that the government should introduce public friendly tax policies so that every individual paid the taxes happily. “When a taxpayer believes that he will get facilities in return of tax payment, he happily pays his taxes,” he added.

Executive member of MCCI Mian Shafi Anees Sheikh pointed out that the poor agricultural policies and counterfeit seed as well as fertilisers resulted in a horrible crash in cotton production. “Our cotton production has declined to just 3 lac tonne from 12 lac,” he added. He demanded the government should take all stakeholders on board and revise its policies.

66,965 POWER PILFERERS FINED: The Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) has caught 66,965 power pilferers during the first nine months of ongoing financial year and imposed fine worth Rs466 million on the pilferers.

Mepco sources disclosed on Wednesday that out of total fine money, over Rs348 million had been recovered from the pilferers. The Mepco authorities also lodged applications for the registration of cases against 3,308 accused at different police stations between July 2015 and February 2016 while 376 more applications were filed under new ordinance for registration of cases.

Mepco sources said that 3,910 power pilferers were caught in Multan Circle and imposed over Rs64.9 million fine. Similarly, Rs86.7 million fine was imposed on 15,099 power thieves in Dera Ghazi Khan Circle; Rs 69.4 million fine on 2,943 in Vehari Circle; Rs46.3 million on 12,263 in Bahawalpur Circle; Rs39.3 million on 4,600 in Sahiwal Circle; Rs52.9 million on 10,969 in Rahim Yar Khan Circle; Rs52.2 million on 9,292 in Muzaffargarh Circle; Rs27.9 million on 4,854 in Bahawalnagar Circle and Rs26.3 million on 3,035 in Khanewal Circle.

The sources said that the Mepco authority had decided to continue crackdown on power thieves and the action would continue during the last quarter of ongoing financial year.