KARACHI: The World Bank (WB) will assist the Sindh government in boosting tax revenue through surveys and automated tax procedures. 

To begin with, a survey will be carried out in urban areas of the province to bring new property units in the tax net and registering additions in existing units to assess their correct rental value. The survey is part of a multi-million dollar project to be financed by the World Bank.

A meeting of the WB representatives and officials of the Excise and Taxation department was held this week to discuss modalities of the survey of properties.

The meeting was informed that no survey of properties in Karachi and other major interior towns has been carried out since 2001 due to unavoidable circumstances although under the Local Government Act, a survey of residential, commercial and industrial buildings is required after every five years.

Excise and Taxation Secretary Abdul Majid Pathan informed the meeting that the chief minister desired that the survey may be started from Sukkur, a major town of the interior.

The survey of buildings and houses in Sukkur will be followed by enumeration of property units in Larkana and Hyderabad. It will reach its climax when the survey team will start work in the metropolitan city of Karachi.

According to the existing data, the number of property units in Karachi is 815,438, followed by Hyderabad 1,32,859, Larkana 83,782 and Sukkur 81,767 units. The total number of property units in the interior is 11,69,985.

The survey will be conducted by private consultants to be engaged by the World Bank. According to the official data, property tax fetched Rs1,839m in 2013-14 against Rs1,482m in the previous year, recording a jump of 24pc.