RAWALPINDI, May 25: Some 200 dwellers of Shamsabad, Faizabad and Gulshan Dadan Khan are refusing to pay property tax to the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department, claiming they were residents of Islamabad.
They say the lands they are residing upon had been registered with the federal capital territory authorities before 1981.
Officials of the Rawalpindi district government however reject their claim, saying the localities were part of the rural suburbs of the garrison city and came within its municipal limits after the defunct Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation extended its boundary.
Facing difficulty to recover the outstanding dues worth Rs120 million for the last four years, the department approached the city government to provide it the revenue record and help it recover the property tax.
District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar said he checked the revenue record and found that all these localities were under the administrative control of Rawalpindi.
He also found that Wasa was providing water, Rawal Town Municipal Administration approved the building plans and also provided other civic facilities to the areas.
The DCO directed the RTMA, Wasa and the revenue department to stop provision of civic facilities to these areas unless the residents paid their property tax.
He said the RTMA would not approve the building plans, Wasa suspend water supply and issuance of new water connections and revenue department should not give transfer of land and other certificates to those who failed to pay the property tax.
“We have been informed that some residents of Shamsabad and Faizabad have moved the district courts and managed to get a stay order in their favour and the others assumed that the decision was in their favour and they also refused to pay taxes,” said the DCO.
Additional District Collector General Saif Anwar Jappa said the RTMA and other civic agencies had stopped civic services to the residents and asked them to pay the taxes.
On the other hand, the residents of Faziabad claimed that some of their neighbours had got stay orders in their favour which should be applicable on all those living in the locality but the excise and taxation department had sealed the gates of their houses.
“I live in a rented house at Gulistan-i-Jinnah on Benazir Bhutto Road opposite Survey of Pakistan and the excise department has sealed the main gate of the house. We are using a small gate to get in and out. The department officials did not seal the houses of those whose case was in the courts,” said Zeeshan Ahmed while talking to Dawn.
A resident of house No 42 at Faziabad, Mohammad Mobeen, said the local court had declared that their house falls at Mouzua Ojri in Islamabad but the excise and taxation department sealed his house and served him a notice to clear the last four years’ dues amounting to Rs300,000.
He said his seven-marla plot was registered with the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in 1980. However, he admitted that he got the building plan approved from the RTMA.
The excise and taxation department director, Mohammad Suhail, told Dawn that they had sought the help of CDGR to recover the outstanding amount of Rs120 million from the residents of Faizabad and some portions of Shamsabad.
“These people claimed that they were residents of Islamabad and they will not pay property tax to the Punjab or the local administration. We served many notices on them and were left with no option but to seal their property,” he said.
He said the department on Friday sealed many houses in Faizabad. It also sealed 127 commercial and domestic properties in other parts of the city for non-payment of dues.