ICCI: A trusted voice for Business community, residents

0
271
ICCI

ISLAMABAD, JUN 25: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry since its inception, has tirelessly advocated for its members rights and the general public interests. The ICCI under the leadership of its President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari wasted no time in moving the court when the MCI by resorting to misuse of its powers exorbitantly revised the property taxes. Thereby, the Islamabad High Court suspended the notification meant for almost 400 percent hike in the property tax.

According to details in 2019, when the Municipal Corporation Islamabad hiked the property tax up to 300 percent, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry moved Islamabad High Court,   hence Mr.  Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani while declaring the hike as illegal directed the MCI to receive the tax on old rates and that CDA must stay away from any kind of interference in MCI affairs. On this, both CDA and MCI opted for intra-court appeal, which is still pending.

In 2023 when once again the MCI enhanced the property tax up to 400 percent, the ICCI initiated consultations with the relevant quarters to convince them for exercising a rationale in the matter but after 5 months long deliberations the MCI abruptly issued a notification regarding the tax increase.

Subsequently, the ICCI had no option but to once again move the court. In its petition, it challenged the notification dated 23.01.2024 issued by the respondent, the MCI, whereby property tax had been revised and applied to the entire Islamabad Capital Territory.

The ICCI Council contended that his client representing the business community of   ICT Islamabad is aggrieved by the above-referred notification which is disproportionate to the certain rights as well as principles settled in Section 88 of the Islamabad Local Government Act, 2015.He argued that the Municipal Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) had misused its powers while implementing the tax increase.

The IHC directed the MCI and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to suspend the new property and other enhanced tax collection until the final verdict is issued and continue to collect the same on old rates. The court observed that MCI has no authority to issue such orders. The court also directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to announce the election date because only the elected body can impose the tax. The court also ordered for the audit of the MCI accounts and deferred the case till July 10.

It is noteworthy that ICCI’s decision to challenge the tax hike in Court was aimed at to address the concerns of the owners of both commercial and residential properties.