ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Friday showed concerns on the government’s decision to empowering Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to determine the property values in different cities of the country.

The Senate Committee on Finance met under the chair of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla to discuss the Income tax (amendment) bill 2016. The members showed concerns on the government’s decision to empower FBR to determine the property value for taxation purpose.

The members from PLM-Q, ANP and PTI have staged walkout from the meeting on the issue.

“The government should appoint independent experts for fixing properties’ prices instead of authorising FBR,” said Mohsin Aziz of PTI. He proposed to make further amendments in the bill.

The government has imposed tax on property for common people while it has given immunity to the housing societies, he said and added that the government has failed to bring major housing societies into tax net.

Senator Ilyas Bilour of ANP and Kamil Ali Agha of PML-Q also opposed the bill.

Agha said that determining property value is provincial subject after the 18th constitutional amendment.

“The government is violating the law and constitution by empowering FBR to determine property prices,” he added. He alleged that after this the corruption in FBR would reach to Rs800 billion from Rs400 billion (as claimed by former finance minister once).

Bilour said that federal government is doing injustice with the smaller provinces. He stated: “We will not allow injustice to the small provinces by supporting the proposed legislation.”

However, FBR Chairman Nisar Khan defended the government’s move by saying that it has taken the decision after consulting with the relevant stakeholders. He hoped that tax collection from the property sector would increase during ongoing financial year, which were around Rs800 million in last year.

The Senate committee proposed that government should constitute a committee for evaluation of the property value, which includes FBR chairman, parliamentarians, experts and representatives of civil society.