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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Secretary Dr Muhammad Sohail Rajput has assured KCCI that all important issues pertaining to hindrances being created by Sindh Food Authority, retrospective demand for Capital Value Tax on transfer of vehicles, handing over of possession to shopkeepers of Empress Market and relocation of anti-encroachment drive victims of Jubilee, Mairaj Market and Aladdin Park will be taken up on top priority and resolved amicably.

Exchanging views with Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) President Mohammed Tariq Yousuf during a meeting held at Chief Secretary’s Office, Sohail Rajput further assured that the suggestions pertaining to construction of overhead bridge from Central Jail Flyover to Peoples Round for Red Line Bus Service will also be taken into consideration by the Sindh Government whereas the officials of District Council will also be restrained from approaching firms to seek information related to employee wages.

President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, while highlighting some important issues being faced by business community, pointed out that the vigilance team of Sindh Food Authority created a lot of hurdles during inspections which intensifies the hardships for KCCI’s members engaged in food business.

“The SFA teams, while carrying out inspection, threaten to immediately seal food manufacturing sections and demand for bribe to give some time for compliance. It is a very serious issue that requires strict intervention so that the businesses could fearlessly carryout their activities,” he added.

He also requested Chief Secretary to convince Excise & Taxation Department to refrain from demanding Capital Value Tax (CVT) imposed on transfer of vehicles which, although became effective from July 1, 2022 but was not applied immediately by E&T Department and now, after a lapse of 10 months, the department was demanding CVT retrospectively which was technically not possible.

He was of the view that 1 percent CVT imposed on transfer of vehicle cannot be demanded retrospectively from July 1, 2022 because during these 10 months, many vehicles have been sold and transferred at least three to four times, making it impossible for showroom owners to arrange 1 percent CVT for all previous transfers which were not liable on current deal.

While highlighting the grievances being faced by showroom owners due to ill-planned construction work going on at New MA Jinnah Road from Peoples Roundabout to Central Jail Flyover for Red Line bus route, Tariq Yousuf requested Chief Secretary to look into the possibility of constructing an overhead bridge from Central Jail Flyover to Peoples Roundabout instead of shrinking the size of the existing road for constructing a separate red line bus service pathway which would cause severe traffic congestion, besides affecting local businesses in this particular area.

He further sought Chief Secretary’s assistance in handing over possession of alternate place to shopkeepers of Empress Market who were dislodged from Empress Market Saddar under Supreme Court’s order and an alternate place for setting up businesses was allocated at Garden No.1 Lines Area Block-A but the possession has not been handed over to date. “Similarly, the dislodged shop owners of Jubilee, Mairaj Market and Aladdin Park were also awaiting relief as no alternate place for setting up businesses has been allocated to them so far. This is also a very serious issue as around 500 families are suffering badly, hence, the concerned officials may please be directed to resolve this matter at the earliest by allocating space available at KMC Market land situated on Clayton Road and Guru Mandir.”

The President KCCI also asked Chief Secretary to restrain officials of District Council from approaching firms to seek information related to employee wages, such as salary registers, pay slips, etc as the monitoring and enforcement of Minimum Wage regulation falls outside the jurisdiction of District Council.

He also asked Chief Secretary to give time for another meeting to discuss repairing and carpeting of Sher Shah Road Bridge to Miran Naka Roundabout in Site area as the road network in this locality was almost inexistent which not only affects local businesses but also creates immense hardships for residents.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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