ISLAMABAD: Around a thousand benami properties have been detected in the capital as part of a campaign to identify such assets around the country.
The government had asked deputy commissioners all over the country to identify benami properties in their jurisdictions by examining revenue records, capital administration officials said.
They added that they were also directed to inform the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for legal action.
Details of properties to be shared with FBR, Nadra
They said the objective is to bring the owners of these properties into the tax net and have such assets registered to their actual owners.
A benami property is one that is transferred to or held by someone while consideration for the property has been provided or paid by someone else.
The capital administration began its campaign after the government issued its directive and asked the revenue department to verify and examine properties registered with the authority, officials said. Tehsildars, patwaris and girdawars were asked to verify properties registered in their offices and carry out surveys in their areas.
There are some 160,000 houses and more than 30,000 shops and 30,000 commercial properties in the 24 sectors that make up the capital’s urban area.
In addition, 26 major villages comprise the rural areas, each consisting of smaller villages and dhoks, officials said.
Dozens of housing societies have also been developed on land in the rural areas.
In total there are more than 250,000 houses, 40,000 shops and 20,000 commercial properties in the rural areas.
In the initial stage of the campaign, the revenue department has found around a thousand suspicious properties that were found to be registered to individuals who were not found at the addresses available in their records.
They said such properties were located in the urban and rural areas. The CNIC numbers of these individuals were obtained and the National Database and Registration Authority will be approached to find them; police assistance will also be sought in this regard.
The records of 10 to 15pc of properties have been checked so far, officials said. Details of the detected properties will also be shared with the FBR.
The capital administration has also asked residents of the city to bring them information about benami properties, and is using social media for this purpose.
People have been warned against spreading misinformation and trying to settle personal scores by bringing false information against others, officials said. Those who bring false information will be punished with five months in prison, they added.
Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2019