Sindhâs chief minister has approved the launching of the E-Municipal Tax Portal as a pilot project in the jurisdiction of Karachiâs Central District Municipal Corporation (DMC) with the objective of facilitating local taxpayers and plugging pilferage in revenue collection.
Syed Murad Ali Shah made the announcement at the CM House on Thursday during a meeting in which Central Deputy Commissioner MB Dharejo gave a detailed briefing to the chief executive.
Dharejo said the portal has been designed to facilitate local traders and other taxpayers for the issuance of trade licences and the payment of taxes. He said traders would have to apply on the portal for new trade licences and then getting them registered to pay their taxes. He made the assurance that it is a free-of-charge and hassle-free system that is also free from human interference.
The DC said a taxpayer, shopkeeper or business unit proprietor would have to register their name along with their CNIC number, phone number, address and locality of the business establishment on the portal.
Through its SMS alert service, the portal will respond to the person and issue them with a bar-coded trade licence and bar-coded challan, he added. He said that at present, the Central DMC collects four taxes and their annual recovery is around Rs16 million, adding that the district has 75,000 business establishments. He also said the portal has been designed by his team free of charge, as no procurement of services has been made in this regard.
The CM said that after the launch of the portal, revenue recovery would increase manifold, following which it would be used for the development of the district. Under the present arrangement, the DMC gives contracts for tax recovery, the result of which is peanuts, he added.
The chief executive directed Local Government Secretary Najam Shah to hold a meeting with the Sindh Revenue Board to secure the data of the business community on their servers.
Shah directed the Central DC to set up facilitation desks at major shopping centres and involve local trade associations to train them and guide them to avail the facility. âWe are not increasing the tax rate or imposing any new tax but just making the existing taxes digital.â
He said the project will be replicated in other districts of the city once it is successfully launched in District Central. He ordered connecting the portal with the National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra) for the verification of CNIC numbers.