Islamabad-Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has asked the chairmen of union councils in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) limits to immediately stop collection of what it viewed as unlawful taxes.

According to a letter written by Chief Officer MCI, some union councils in ICT are collecting taxes particularly in the name of cattle market/mandi, sign boards and toll tax which comes under the jurisdiction of MCI, according to 3rd and 4th schedule of ICT Local Government Act, 2015.

The letter said the functions and tax collection of union councils and MCI are clearly defined in 3rd and 4th schedule of the act respectively.

The letter further clarified that before imposing and advertising, the tax proposals shall be vetted by the government with the approval of local government in order to ensure that the tax proposals are reasonable and in accordance with law under section 88 (2) of ICT Local Government Act, 2015.

The chief officer has advised all the union council chairmen to immediately stop collection of un-lawful taxes and impose the taxes only which are according to the fourth schedule Part-I of ICTLG Act, 2015.

The local government elections were held in the federal capital in November 2015, but the rules of business are yet to be finalised and staff for UCs has also not been appointed so far.

The sources in the MCI told The Nation that the government was yet to approve rules for the MCI that led to confusion over tax collection. “The rules are pending with the interior ministry since long but there has been no action on the subject. Without rules, it is getting difficult to clear anomalies”, said a senior official at the MCI.

MCI has asked the UC chairmen to refrain from collecting different municipal taxes which is against the Islamabad Local Government Act, 2015.

The Chief Officer reminded that the powers to collect taxes by the UCs were withdrawn through fourth schedule given in the Islamabad Local Government Act, 2015. The UC chairmen of Saidpur who is from PTI had auctioned the cattle market for Rs12.7 million and also started collecting Chungi tax. The chairman of UC Malpur is accused of collecting toll tax on Shahdara Road.