Published Date: Mar 23, 2017
KARACHI: Sindh government will start a technology-enabled survey from the next month to freshly determine property values across the province in a bid to ramp up tax revenue from the real estate sector, a senior official said on Wednesday.
Director General Shoaib Siddiqui of the Sindh excise and taxation department said the provincial government signed an agreement with a third party to launch a geographic information system- (GIS) based survey in Sukkur as the pilot project in the first week of April.
“This pilot project will be completed within one year,” Siddiqui told media on the sidelines of a seminar on tax reforms in Sindh organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). “The GIS survey will also be conducted in other parts of the province.”
Siddiqui said the excise and taxation department has shown a marked improvement in the past few years. The property tax, however, has so far been the weakest head, he added. “The completion of the survey will help the government increase revenue from property tax three times from the existing Rs1.5 billion.”
He said the provincial property valuation table doesn’t have a conflict with the valuation table issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which collects capital gains tax on the sale and purchase of immovable properties. On the other hand, the provincial authorities collect other taxes.
In August last year, the FBR issued property valuation tables for major cities of the country to revise the calculation of capital gains tax on properties.
DG excise and taxation department further said the department has proposed to delegate the tasks of motor vehicle registration and tax collection to auto dealers in order to facilitate the purchaser. “After the delegation, each vehicle will come on road only after completing the formalities,” he added. “The proposal was made in lights of the complaints of corruption in the registration and tax payment processes.”
Siddiqui said the major revenue spinner for the federal government is infrastructure cess on imported goods, which is collected by the province.
Mushtaq Kazmi, advisor tax policy at the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) said the suggestions of bringing uniformity in the federal and provincial tax laws are excellent, “but there should be seriousness on the part of federal government.”
Kazmi said a committee was constituted three years ago to harmonise the laws. Only one meeting of the committee was held so far. SRB came into being after the 18th amendments into the constitution to regulate the matters relating to the fiscal and related economic policies in the province.