LAHORE: The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has started the process to develop mechanism for registering the properties in walled city and design a plan for the taxation and registration fee.
According to sources, the WCLA will register properties for the first time, as earlier there was no mechanism of registering the properties. Due to the absence of such mechanism, the WCLA had suffered a lot in the hands of the land mafia, who kept on converting the residential units into commercial plazas and shops over the period.
Sources further said that the original look of the city was harmed due to lack of proper check and balance in terms of registration of properties and licencing of commercial units. People built plazas and shops overnight that damaged the feel of the city and resulted in reduction of residential units. Many cottages were also demolished and converted into commercial units. There was no influence of the WCLA and people were not taking the authority seriously.
Talking to Pakistan Today, WCLA Director Asif Zaheer said, “We will be carrying out this task as per the WCLA ACT, 2012. The rules regarding registration of owners and occupants and regulations of transfer of property clearly state that the authority shall maintain a record of owners and occupants of the buildings or immovable property in the prescribed manner and that the authority shall notify, at the time of the commencement of the Act, a date by which all owners and occupant of buildings or immovable property shall get themselves registered with the authority.”
“It is given in the Act that the authority shall regulate the transfer of property in the prescribed manner. The clause 44 of the Act says that the authority may, in a fair and equitable manner, levy taxes, fees, rates, rents, tolls, etc. on properties located in the walled city. According to these rules, we will design a mechanism to impose taxes and register the properties.”
Asif Zaheer further said that the mechanism will be designed with due diligence. “This will be surely for the betterment of the city and to save its historic fabric. Through this mechanism, we will get complete information of the properties and their status as commercial or residential,” he added.