Commercialisation fees: DCO seen as going soft on traders ahead of elections

LAHORE: The city government has sought more time to collect commercialisation fees on all commercial roads, with a deadline for this set by the Punjab government due to expire on June 30.

The office of the district coordination officer (DCO) sent a letter to the local government secretary stating that the target of collection of all such fees by the deadline could not be met. It said that the District Office of Special Planning had recently conducted a survey identifying 17,493 commercial properties on the 117 commercial roads in the city, giving the city government potential revenue of Rs9 billion. It did not say how much time was needed.

Commercialisation fees are fees that must be paid for the conversion of a residential property to a property being used for commercial purposes, such as a shop or office.

Special Planning officials said that their staff had been given until February to serve notices on all properties where commercialisation fees had not been paid. The notices give the properties seven days to pay or face legal action. Prior to the survey, the office had been set an annual revenue collection target of Rs500 million. The officials said that they had collected just over Rs30 million.

Special Planning officials said that the collection target would be especially tough to meet with DCO Noorul Amin Mengal recently suspending the notices for a couple of markets.Source: