Badar Gardens Complaints - APPEAL FOR ACTION FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF HIGHLY BRUTAL IMPOSITION OF UNREALISTIC

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APPEAL FOR ACTION FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF HIGHLY BRUTAL IMPOSITION OF UNREALISTIC

To,
The Honorable Chief Justice.
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Islamabad

Through Registrar, Supreme Court of Pakistan

APPEAL FOR ACTION FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF HIGHLY BRUTAL IMPOSITION OF UNREALISTIC / HUGE / UNIFORM / WITH-HOLDING TAX ON MARRIAGE HALLS/LAWNS & BANQUETS BY THE FBR IRRESPECTIVE OF CITY, AREA, LOCATION, CATEGORY, FACILITIES, RENTAL ETC

FINANCE ACT 2018 - COLLECTION OF TAX ON MARRIAGES SECTION 236-D OF THE INCOME TAX ORDINANCE 2001

Respected Sir,

It is humbly and regrettably submitted that through the Finance Act 2018 a proviso has been inserted in Division XI of Part IV of the First Schedule to the Ordinance whereby withholding tax @ 5 % or Rs.20,000 whichever is higher (from specified cities including Karachi) and 5% or Rs.l0,000 whichever is higher from other areas, is required to be collected by the Marriage Halls, Marquee, Hotel Restaurants, Commercial Lawns, Clubs etc. in respect of marriage function held therein. Whereas in other cases the tax is collected against the face value of invoice /Bill.

2. In this connection followings are submitted:-

i. The population of Karachi comprises about 50% lower class, 35% middle, 10% upper middle and 5% upper class, having different financial limitations to hire different services. In nutshell, about 85% population ( Minimum average income of RS:15,000/- P.M) may not afford to hire Banquets and looks around for low-cost lawns and Halls, particularly in low-income group areas like Landhi, Korangi, Malir, Orangi town, Baldia Town, Surjani etc.

ii. Furthermore, the hiring of Hall / Lawns are highly subject to vicinity, Type of Venue (Lawn, Hall, Banquet (Diff. categories), Locations like on Main Boulevards, Streets or any other inferior location, Area / capacity, AC or Non-AC, Decoration & Supporting Facilities / Quality of Services / Seasons, Dates and Days etc. Consequently, the rates are highly irregular/variable/inconsistent and competitive.

iii. Whereas, the subject Finance ACT 2018 has been framed without acknowledging the ground realities, business structure, and its associated limitations etc. The Finance Act 2018 has just been framed in hassle, without any credible survey and assuming that every Hall, Lawn, Banquet, Club in Karachi is hired @ 4,00,000/ at the minimum and every inhabitant of Karachi is capable of hiring such services at the same cost and capable to pay, at least RS:20,000/- on each function, while a marriage occasion have number of related ceremonies like Mehndi, Nikkah, Ruksati, Valima and separate reception dinners and every function, may be interpreted as a marriage function.

iv. According to the Finance Act. 2018, Minimum tax of Rs.20,000 @ of 5 percent of the bill, which corresponds to a total booking/billing amount of Rs.400,000 is to be collected / paid whereas it’s highly unreasonable, irrational and uncalled for as such even in Karachi you can hire marriage halls even @ Rs.20,000 in majority of areas particularly spread in outer skirts of Karachi Like Landhi, Korangi, Malir, Shah Faisal, North Karachi, Surjani, Baldia etc, whereas as, except Banquets, in highly posh areas, the Lawns / Halls are available from RS:25,000/- to 1,25,000/-. Banquets situated in posh areas rendering all sorts of related services including car parking etc may charge accordingly but even RS:4,00,000/ per function is still exorbitant compared to the ground realities.

v. Since, the tax imposed is totally, irrational, unreasonable, compelling the hall owners to collect or pay such a unreasonable/exorbitant amount, either by themselves or collected from the marriage function organizer (Hirers), almost at a flat rate that is RS:20,000 irrespective of vicinity, Type of Venue (Lawn, Hall, Banquet (Diff. categories), Locations like on Main Boulevards, Streets or any other inferior location, Area / capacity, AC or Non-AC, Decoration & Supporting Facilities / Quality of Services / Seasons, Dates and Days etc. (Please appreciate that none of the Hall / Lawn/ banquets are hired more than RS:4,00,000/-),

vi. Therefore imposition of the said tax is totally unacceptable and have been rejected by all stallholders and public segments. Particularly the hirers have totally refused to pay, in any case. Resultantly the trend of booking has substantially been declined even drowned. Now instead of community services places, Roads, street, playground, parks are being looked for their ceremonies. At the same time, owners are considering to close the facility, particularly lawn / hall owners situated in low earning group areas, , foreseeing the sharp decline of business.

2. In the light of above fact, in the interest of all stallholders including the Govt. of Pakistan and continuity of business, availability of community services to all Citizens of Karachi, at an affordable financial impact, followings are humbly submitted for your valued consideration:’

i. The Content of act may please be reviewed and spelled out in terms of different categories like Marriage Halls, Marquee, Hotel Restaurants, Commercial Lawns, Clubs, Vicinity, Type of Venue (Lawn, Hall, Banquet (Diff. categories), Locations like Posh area, Main Boulevards, Streets or any other inferior location, Area / capacity, AC or Non-AC, Decoration & Supporting Facilities / Quality of Services / Seasons, Dates and Days etc and the tax may be imposed accordingly, in accordance with the categories. THE MODEL OF PROPERTY VALUATION MAY BE FOLLOWED.

HUMBLE PRAY

Sue Moto action may please be taken in the public interest enabling poor peoples to celebrate their wedding function against reasonably competitive financial impact through Directions to FBR for with DRAWL / REVIEW of said unjustified Act (FINANCE ACT 2018 - COLLECTION OF TAX ON MARRIAGES SECTION 236-D OF THE INCOME TAX ORDINANCE 2001) in the light of above submitted ground realities besides the followings:

a. The tax may not applied on Valima, Mehndi and other reception ceremonies.

b. FBR may please directed to advertise the imposition of the minimum tax in order to make it acceptable to the Function Organizer and support the collection of tax.

c. Marriage function may please be explained as such mostly Nikkah is performed in Mosque, while other functions like Mehndi, Valima, Reception may take place in Hall / Lawn etc.

3. It’s hoped that sympathetic consideration shall be given and obliged, preliminary in the interest of the Common man / General public as at the other hand the Marriage lawn / Hall would have no choice except to transfer this huge financial Burdon on the public.

Thanking you in anticipation

Yours Truly

Sabiha Javed, Karachi

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