300 percent hike in property tax had made Islamabad costliest city of Pakistan – ICCI

  • November 17, 2020
The business community in a meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has strongly protested against the 300 percent hike in the property tax in Islamabad and called upon the MCI/CDA to urgently withdraw this unjustified increase as it has made the federal capital the costliest city of Pakistan and has created immense problems for the residents. Chairing the meeting, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said that the exorbitant hike in the property tax has plunged the widows, senior citizens and other low income residents of Islamabad into deep financial problems as it was not possible for them to pay this massively hiked property tax. He said that there was no example of making such unprecedented increase in any tax in one go and urged that MCI/CDA should reverse this unjustified decision to save the business community and the residents of Islamabad from unnecessary financial burden. He said that business community was not against the tax obligations, however, any increase in taxes should be made gradually instead of putting enormous financial burden on them in one go. He was of the view that for making increase in any tax, MCI should hold its public hearing and added that this requirement was not fulfilled in the instant case, which makes this increase illegal. He appealed to the Prime Minister and the Chairman CDA for urgent withdrawal of 300 percent hike in the property tax to save the citizens of Islamabad from great troubles. Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that FBR had imposed 16 percent GST on services provided by the underwriters, indenters, commission agents and auctioneers in Islamabad despite the fact that Sindh and KPK had reduced GST on these services from 16 percent to 3 percent and 2 percent respectively. He said this unjustified hike in GST on services has made these businesses uncompetitive as they were already paying professional tax and 6 percent withholding tax. He appealed to the Advisor on Finance and Revenue and the Chairman FBR to revise 16 percent GST on services in ICT to save these businesses from unnecessary problems. Ms. Fatma Azim Senior Vice President and Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI said that ICCI has filed another petition in IHC against the 300 percent hike in property tax to save the citizens from such coercive measures. They said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced in February 2020 to abolish around 104 types of trade licenses for traders, but it was unfortunate that instead of complying with the PM’s announcement, MCI has made manifold increase in the trade license fee. They urged that MCI/CDA should rationalize trade license fee to save the traders from unnecessary problems. Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi former President ICCI, Khalid Chaudhry and others also spoke at the occasion and said that a former DMA of CDI in the past had reached a verbal agreement with ICCI to charge signboard tax @ of Rs.60 per square foot, which should be implemented in letter and spirit.