DMC Central to pilot project for shopkeepers, businesses, traders
Shopkeepers, traders and businesses will be able to apply for licenses and pay their local taxes online soon with a pilot E-Municipal Tax Portal in Karachi’s DMC Central. The chief minister approved the work Thursday.
DMC Central has 75,000 business establishments that pay four taxes which comes to about Rs16 million annually. The chief minister has decided that the other DMCs would replicate the project once it was successfully launched in Central. It will be connected to NADRA for CNIC verification.
Traders would apply online for new licenses and pay their local taxes by registering. It would hassle-free, free-of-cost and free of human dealing. The taxpayer, shopkeeper or business unit proprietor would register their name with their CNIC number, mobile phone, address and locality. The portal would then SMS them and issue bar-coded trade licenses and bar-coded challans.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said this would make life easier for local tax payers and plug pilferage.
Deputy Commissioner Central M. B. Dharejo told the chief minister that the portal has been designed by his team free of cost and they did not make any procurement for it. “After launching of the portal, recovery would increase manifold and the money would be used for the development of the area,” the chief minister said.
Right now, the DMC has to hire someone on contract to recover their taxes, which is why the amounts are usually peanuts, the CM said.
The secretary for Local Government will meet the Sindh Revenue Board to acquire data on the business community. DC Central will set up desks at major shopping centers and involve the trade associations to train them to us the website. “We are not increasing the tax rate or imposing any new tax, just making the existing taxes digital,” he said.
This decision was taken in a meeting at CM House. The meeting was attended by Local Government Minister Nasir Shah, principal secretary for the CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Local Government Secretary Najam Shah, Municipal Commissioner Afzal Zaidi and the deputy commissioners for South, West, Central, Korangi, Malir and East.
World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking
This decision is the latest effort by the chief minister to improve Karachi’s systems through digitisation. The idea is that going online will help generate revenue as well, and reduce corruption, delays and bribery.
In particular, the CM is keen on raising Karachi’s ranking on the Ease of Doing Business index. This helps attract foreign investment. The EoDB index is 108 for Pakistan. The cities studied were Karachi and Lahore.
The project is called CLICK (Competitive and Livable City of Karachi Project) and involves modernizing the urban property tax system, incentivizing private sector participation in service delivery, enhancing ease of doing business, and improving solid waste management.
He has already kicked off a survey of Karachi’s properties, so that they can be taxed. The idea is that this kind of revenue could help the city or local government run on its own steam. Read more here: Surveys of Karachi, Hyderabad so property taxes pay for cities