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KARACHI: Director General (DG) Excise & Taxation (E&T) and Narcotics Control Sindh, Muneer Ahmed Zardari has said that E&T Dept was in the process of further upgrading its online tax payment system which might not be ideal today but was much better than what it had been in the past and would improve further in the days to come when the taxpayers will be able to smoothly generate all their challans and submit taxes through the department’s online portal.

Speaking at a meeting of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), he said that the excise and taxation department pays special attention to the issues being faced by Karachi Chamber as it was this chamber whose members have been contributing a major chunk of revenue to the excise & taxation department.

DG E&T assured that the department was trying its best to facilitate taxpayers by focusing on expediting numerous procedures while efforts were being made to clear the huge backlog of vehicles’ registration number plates which have not been issued.

Senior Vice President KCCI Saqib Goodluck, while welcoming DG Excise & Taxation, stated that E&T Dept was the main revenue collecting agency of the Government of Sindh which collects Property Tax, Professional Tax, Infrastructure Cess, Motor Registration Fee and Tax, Hotel Tax, Excise Duty, Cotton Fee, and Entertainment Duty but the taxpayers have been constantly facing issues in submitting these taxes due to cumbersome procedures and excessive documentations which have to be simplified.

He mentioned that in the first eight months of FY2021, a sum of Rs62.17 billion was collected in term of various taxes in Sindh province as compared to Rs54.483 billion collected during the preceding period whereas collection of withholding tax on registration and transfer of motor vehicles surged 177 percent to Rs1.72 billion during the same period as compared to the previous year’s Rs621 million.

Highlighting numerous difficulties in paying Professional Tax, he stressed that the department has to ensure that online system for generating challan and form submission were constantly operational as it has been observed that taxpayers were facing immense hardships because the online option for generating challan and submitting forms often glitch.

Vice President KCCI Shamsul Islam Khan, in his remarks, pointed out that large number of cases pertaining to payment of property tax have been pending since long due to delays in transferring properties to current owners which intensifies the hardships for the public and also deprives the provincial kitty from substantial amount of revenue to be collected under the head of property tax.

“This is a very serious issue which requires attention as it is a well-known fact that the property transfer procedure is deliberately delayed by relevant officers with an only intention to harass the taxpayers for gaining personal benefits,” he added.

Chairman of Provincial & Local Taxes Subcommittee Tanveer Barry expressed deep concerns over delay in issuance of vehicle registration number plates which must be expedited while the E&T department’s online portal was also not running smoothly which has to be made efficient.

Former Vice President Asif Sheikh Javed, KCCI Managing Committee Members and representatives of various commercial markets attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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