Govt Should Withdraw Proposed Property Tax in Budget 2022-23: RCCI

The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has demanded that the government withdraw the property tax imposed in the federal budget 2022-23.

The proposed tax measures will affect the construction sector as more than forty allied industries are connected to this sector.

President RCCI, Nadeem Rauf, and Group Leader and former President RCCI, Sohail Altaf, said in a joint statement that more incentives be given to the construction industry to increase business activity.

The RCCI chief explained, “Overseas Pakistanis invest heavily in the construction sector. The proposed measure would be tantamount to taxing dollar senders in the country. The property tax should be reviewed to bring in foreign investment and restore investor confidence in the country.”

The proposed tax on rental income will increase the dispute between the property owner and the tenant. The tax office has been given extra powers on fair value assessment, and it is feared that the officer will exceed the powers, and the chances of bribery will increase.

Rauf also urged the government that stakeholders be consulted on a fixed tax on small traders, and legal experts have also expressed serious reservations about section 7E in the Finance Bill. The federal government is not entitled to levy tax on the capital value of the real estate, he added.

Referring to the provincial budget, Rauf expressed the RCCI’s demand that a significant amount be allocated in the Punjab budget for the construction of Ring Road, which has been delayed for many decades. He also remarked that funds should be allocated in the budget for Kachehri Chowk, Defense Chowk.

Altaf mentioned that a tax ombudsman should be set up at the provincial level for the resolution of tax disputes linked with the Punjab Revenue Authority, excise, and taxation. Moreover, a provincial tax ombudsman should be appointed for immediate resolution of tax disputes, he said.