PESHAWAR    -    Business community here Wednesday demanded of the provincial government to rationalise property tax and abolish ‘double taxation’ to flourish businesses and industries in the province. The demand was made by Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Engr Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz, during a meeting with Secretary Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, which held under his chairmanship at the chamber house.

They agreed to form a high-level committee of government officials and representatives from business community, which will review issues pertaining to property tax. Excise and Taxation Secretary, Zafar Ali Shah, assured that property tax will be charged by measurement of covered areas of shops, markets and other properties instead of rental basis. The senior official said his department will take possible steps to remove grievances of business community regarding ‘property tax’.

SCCI Senior Vice President Shahid Hussain, former presidents Faiz Mohammad Faizi, Adeel Rauf, members of the chamber executive committee, Director General Excise and Taxation, Fayaz Ali Shah, Director Excise, Salauddin and Javed Khalji, Office bearers of Swat, Kohat, Haripur, Abbottabad, Bajuar, Dir, Mardan and other sub-chambers, were present during the meeting. 

Maqsood Pervaiz called to enforce property tax as per value of property and floor-wise and to abstain from unrealistic steps.

SCCI chief voiced concern over issuance of property tax notices to Hayatabad Industrial Estate Peshawar, saying that industrial estates were usually set up in large area, therefore, he said it was completely unjust to determine property tax on covered area of the industrial estate. He praised the business community and people for their resilience as KP province was remained frontline in war against terrorism for several decades, so, he urged the government to grant them special relief at every level.

Maqsood Pervaiz termed the survey conducted by provincial excise and taxation department as inequitable and unrealistic through which exaggerated rates of property tax were imposed. He urged the officials of the excise department to take chambers and presidents of bazaars and shopping markets into confidence before launching of any crackdown.

Zafar Ali Shah, the Secretary Excise and Taxation agreed with reservations of SCCI chief and assured the business community will not harass during collection of property and professional taxes. He said the department will take steps to bring easiness in tax collection system. 

He informed that GIS-based survey will be launched in Abbottabad, Nowshera and Mardan, while an independent survey will also soon be conducted in Peshawar.

He said the website of Department of Excise and Taxation will be upgraded to facilitate and create awareness about different taxes to business community.