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Ramadan 25, 1437 A.H.
JULY 01, 2016

Amendment made to increase corruption must be withdrawn: Younus Bashir

KARACHI: President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Younus Muhammad Bashir, while referring to an amendment made to Section 68 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 through the Finance Act 2016, stated that this particular amendment must be immediately revoked as it will open more avenues for corruption in the process of property valuation. “The amendment made to increase corruption must be withdrawn”, President added in a statement issued on Friday.

Younus Bashir demanded that the previous system for property valuation through a pre-defined category-wise table must continue but this property valuation table needs to be revised more frequently and more categories must also be added to the table. He urged the government to take decision at the earliest in this regard because this amendment has come to force from July 1, 2016, causing immense problems for the buyers and sellers of immovable properties. He recalled that in the past, the Excise & Taxation Officer was deployed at the office of Sub-Registrar where the registry of property was only being done after the formal signature of Excise & Taxation Officer who negotiated with buyers to finalize bribe for property valuation. In 1982, a system for property valuation through a pre-defined category-wise table was devised with the help of Excise & Taxation Departments of all provinces, which started from Karachi.

Younus Bashir suggested that instead of introducing an imprudent amendment in Section 68 of Income Tax Ordinance 2001, the government must leave the existing system intact whereas the rates mentioned property valuation table should be revised after thoroughly surveying the market while more categories must also be added and this revision should be done more frequently after a period of at least 2 to 3 years. He further said that it was a matter of grave concern that under the amendment, a new mechanism will be introduced which will bound the investors to get their properties evaluated through valuers of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and refer it to FBR Inland Revenue Department. This is not a sensible move as SBP lacks expertise in this particular field, he opined, adding that this will trigger unprecedented corruption even in State Bank which is a less corrupt organization.