ISLAMABAD - An emergency meeting of the Executive Committee of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) was held under the chair of President Ahmed Hassan Moughal. The meeting has passed a resolution that called upon the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) to immediately withdraw the up to 200 percent hike in property tax on commercial and residential properties in Islamabad because making so much hike in tax in one go was totally unjustified and would add to the difficulties of businessmen and the citizens.

Speaking at the occasion, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, ICCI, said that Mayor Islamabad was not authorized to make unilateral increase in property tax and cautioned that if the said increase was not withdrawn, business community and citizens of Islamabad would have no option except to resort to court for the remedy. He said that MCI has not done any development work in markets for the last four years due to which markets were presenting a dilapidated look. He said due to exorbitant increase in property tax, people would not criticize the Mayor Islamabad, but they would blame the current government for this unjustified increase. He appealed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to take notice of this situation and issue directions to MCI for immediate withdrawal of hike in property tax.

Rafat Farid, Senior Vice President, and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi, Vice President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said that MCI has unilaterally made 200 percent increase in property tax from 1st July 2019 without arranging any public hearing, which was not justified. They emphasized that MCI should have organized a public hearing on the issue and after getting the input of stakeholders, should have taken a consensus decision. They said that business community was already facing many problems in running businesses due to multiple factors and in such circumstances, doubling property tax would put heavy burden on them. They said that at the one hand, MCI was increasing taxes on businesses, but on the other hand it was not taking any measures to develop markets and industrial areas on modern lines. They said that water scarcity issue in Islamabad was not solved, but its charges have also been raised. They urged that if MCI was imposing taxes on business community, it should also take urgent measures to improve the basic infrastructure in commercial/industrial areas and in markets.