THIS refers to the news item ‘Professional tax to be collected by E&T, cantonments’ (June 10). Sindh Secretary for Excise and Taxation Abdul Majeed Pathan’s statement is astonishing. Apparently, he is not aware of the Sindh government’s advertisement that the Sindh excise and taxation department is authorised to levy and collect professional tax throughout the province (even in cantonment areas).
We have been paying professional tax to the Sindh excise and taxation department for many years now. But this year a contractor appointed by the Clifton Cantonment Board appeared on the scene and asked us to pay professional tax to him for the past two years.
In the first place, it is our understanding that professional tax is a non-federal tax. It is a provincial tax. So the cantonment board has no right to impose it.
Again, if we are wrong, and the cantonment board does have the right to impose professional tax, why should we pay the tax into a private contractor’s account and not into the account of the cantonment board?
The Sindh government should immediately clarify whether those having offices in cantonment areas should pay professional tax to the excise and taxation department or to the cantonment board.
S. Lakhani
Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2014