The business community as well as the citizens, rejecting increase in property tax rates, have asked the Punjab government to introduce a proper system for the assessment of property tax, as the officials responsible for collecting property tax are charging the levy as per their wishes and making money in the absence of a suitable tax collection system.

The traders demanded Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to establish a proper system for the assessment of property tax being collected from land or property holders. They said that presently there is no proper system to measure a property tax, as officials of Excise & Taxation Department are collecting the levy arbitrarily.

Those who offer bribe are being charged a very nominal amount from the officials who declare their property cheaper as per their own wishes. And the share of this money, which amounts to millions of rupees, also goes to high officials, they said.

All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran president Khalid Perviaz said that Punjab government never bothers to see malpractices by the Excise & Taxation Department officials, who are collecting hundreds of thousands of rupees in a single day by getting commission from the property owners, instead of collecting official tax.

“And who want to pay tax, their property is evaluated so high that he cannot afford to pay original tax and no one is there to take action against these officials or even listen to the complainants,” he added. Muhammad Arshad, a resident of G-Block Gulshan-e-Ravi, owns two properties in Property Tax Zone No 9, including residential (293-G) 10-marla and commercial shop No 345 C in Jinnah Market, G-Block. He alleged that Excise & Taxation inspector has imposed very excessive tax on him as a punishment, adding that “I want to pay original tax instead of offering bribe to him”.

Another citizen of Samanabad area, also alleged that the inspectors are harassing them and their family due to refusal of bribe.

APAT President demanded the authorities to check the record of tax collection from the all residential and commercial areas and make a comparison of the levy collected from each land holder, which will clearly indicate that there is no proper assessment system of imposing levy and the officials are free to do whatever they want.

LCCI President Ijaz Mumtaz said that the industry located in rural areas is served tax notices with footage measurement by the TMOs. He said that industry in rural area must not be treated as in urban area.

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.