GIS Integrated Computerization of Urban Immovable Property Tax (UIPT) System in Punjab, Pakistan

GIS Integrated Computerization of Urban Immovable Property Tax (UIPT) System in Punjab, Pakistan

Summary

The government of Punjab initiated the Project of Urban Immovable Property Tax (UIPT) in 2013 with the clear vision of bringing enhanced transparency, better management and improve service delivery in regime of taxation.to achieve these goals implementation of e-governance in the departments reflect is major objective. This project lead towards real e- governance solution.

Background and Objective

Prior to the start of the present project all registers, records, notices and tax bills were prepared manually, deliberately concealing, ignoring or compromising the ground realities, resulting into malpractices, corruption and leakages of revenue. Revenue growth was artificially kept on positive side by manipulating the demand through suppressions.

Actions and Implementation

The major problems was financial issues. At certain times disturbance of funds flow mechanism serious affect the working of project team. Second issue was integration of data with Geographic Information System and Management Information System. Little errors often generate serious issues. Third Issue was quality assurance and continuous monitoring of project teams. Fourth issue was resistance from the status quo. The stakeholders of old system were against this automation process of property tax. SOLUTION: There was a complete system to monitor and evaluate the daily progress of all surveyors and DEOs Routine Progress Review meetings were held to evaluate the performance of the project An online dashboard was developed for progress monitoring Android application and Mobile SMS were also used to appraise the progress of teams GIS layers were used to map the information of property unit A private company system limited also did third party validation of the UIPT and declared it flawless. Secretary Excise & Taxation Department also held departmental meetings on video links to check the progress of the project.

Outcomes and Impacts

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC: Equal Employment opportunities were provided in this project CULTURAL: A better attitude developed to pay property tax because of transparency and audit. It has reduced tax leakages. People have more trust on the system that tax money will be utilized for productive works and development. ENVIRONMENTAL: UIPT is an environment friendly project as no harmful elements attached with this project. Now a paper less system is in working. This intervention will also ensure to reduce the paper based solid waste. INSTITUTIONAL: Project started on logical and legal grounds. Now system has been developed. It is completely functional. An evidence based decision support system was developed to retrieve information and to take wise decisions regarding property tax. This is system is sustainable and need of the hour. Excise and Taxation Department also putting efforts to make more improvements with every passing day.

Gender and Social Inclusivity

EXTENSION OF UIPT IN OTHER REGIONS OF THE STATE: The Excise & Taxation Department now extending the same computerization of UIPT in remaining 30 districts to bring entire Punjab on the same platform and to get the maximum advantages of computerization. Now the benefits will be extended to more districts. A team of the Urban Unit is now implementing the same project computerizing the property tax system in Sindh province. This success story of Punjab province is now successfully implemented in other regions as well. A competent and dedicated team of professionals is working day and night to achieve targets. Now a National Bank of the country is also integrating its system with UIPT.

Innovative Initiative

Lesson 1: Ongoing Monitoring & Evaluation is necessary When this project was initiated at that time the corrupt stakeholders of existing system tried hard to damage this system. Excise inspectors used manual registers of property tax. They were not cooperative for scanning and computerization of tax registers. They started controversies and issues with UIPT team to waste the precious time. Lesson 2: Smooth flow of funds is must There were serious issues because of non availability of funds for the salaries of surveyors and other field staff. During survey Money was needed for the fuel, food and stationary items on daily basis. Furthermore Pakistan is a developing country and facing poverty and unemployment issues therefore it can be well imaged that absence of funds seriously affect the performance of projects. Lesson 3: Training of project staff is very beneficial At certain places residents infuriated when surveyors captured the pictures of the their homes. Residents reacted because they thought that it was some negative campaign in which their private properties will be captured. Therefore we trained our staff to explain the residents that it is a good and peaceful initiative for the benefit of your state. Lesson 4: Day to day working is must to achieve tasks timely Time was a big challenge because survey of all the property circles and data entry task needed an effective time management.

Resources devoted to delivery

No. Title Source Author Publication Title Volume Number Date Page Number 1 COMPUTERIZATION OF URBAN IMMOVABLE PROPERTY TAX http://www.urbanunit.gov.pk/UU/Projects_Detail?Id=16 The Urban Unit COMPUTERIZATION OF URBAN IMMOVABLE PROPERTY TAX 1 5 June 2017 1

Conclusion

The legal framework that determines the property tax administration in the province is governed by the UIPT Act, 1958, and the rules made there under. Administratively it comes under the control of Excise and Taxation Department. The collection made under UIPT is subject to revenue sharing with the WASAs, TMA’s and City Districts. With the sole objective of plugging the leakages for increase in revenue, the Government of the Punjab on the recommendations of Punjab Fiscal Reforms Commission, 1998, did away with the then prevailing system of assessment of UIPT in Punjab on the basis of actual rents (determined by the E&TI) for rented properties, and notional rents for owner-occupied properties. An amendment in the UIP Tax, Act 1958, Section 5-A, was inserted after Section 5 of the Act ibid and the existing system of assessment of UIPT on the basis of Valuation Tables was introduced. The valuation List so prepared was to be revised after every 5-years, but all houses built on an area up to 5-Marla land area were also exempted from payment of UIP Tax liability through an amendment in Section 3 of UIP Tax, Act 1958.

Region

Asia and the Pacific

Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable