KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Tuesday decided to devolve collection of property tax to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and District Municipal Corporations and constituted a ministerial committee to work out the devolution mechanism.
This he said while presiding over a meeting to discuss and approve the World Bank-sponsored Modernization of Urban Property Tax Administration and System here at the CM House.
The meeting was attended by Minister Excise & Taxation Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Minister Local Government Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Investment Zahid Abbasi, Secretary Local Government Najam Shah and other concerned officers.
Under the World Bank project, Competitive and Livable City of Karachi Project (CLICK), there is a component of Modernizing Urban Property Tax Administration and System to be executed for $0.4 million for identifying and digitization of under-assessed and un-assessed properties records so as to increase the tax base coverage, consequently, improved revenue collection of the Property Tax in the city.
The project includes procurement/development of a robust Urban Immovable Property Tax (UIPT) system to effectively identify and tax urban properties in Karachi and to strengthen the capacity of Excise and Taxation department on modernization UIPT collection, including HR strengthening through trainings and provision of infrastructure keeping in view long-term sustainability. Under the project UIPT survey will be conducted for an estimated two million properties of Karachi and collect the quality data.
The chief minister said that the Urban Immovable property survey would improve the tax base and the GIS component would help urban planning authorities to plan and execute sustainable infrastructure. He added that it would automate the property tax assessment and printing of challans. It would also help in providing a GIS mapping framework for the identification of all parcels and buildings. Shah said that in 2021 only 800,000 property units were being taxed for property and then its number increased to 947,424 and after a fresh survey the number of the units increased by 111 percent to 2000,000.
Murad said that presently Rs1.72 billion were being collected as property tax from Karachi and after survey its collection would increase to Rs3.63 billion.
He directed Minister local government and Minister Excise to sit with Chief Secretary and evolve a mechanism to devolve the property tax to the KMC and DMCs. "let them collect themselves and utilize the development of the city," he said categorically.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021