RDA Asks FBR To Return ‘Illegally’ Deducted Funds

Dawn

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) on Tuesday asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to return Rs329.07 million ‘illegally’ deducted from its accounts as income tax.

Addressing a press conference, RDA Chairman Arif Abbasi said the FBR deducted the money from the RDA’s official account on the pretext of income tax.

“We are writing letters to FBR high-ups to recover the illegally deducted amount,” he said, adding that once recovered, the money will be spent on development work in Rawalpindi.

Mr Abbasi said the FBR was not allowed to deduct such a large sum of money, that too from the official RDA account, on the pretext of income tax.

Chairman says FBR deducted Rs329m from official account which, if returned, would be spent on development work

“The RDA is also an organ of the government, the prime duty of which is to launch development and public welfare projects in the city,” he said.

He added that he had informed the FBR chairman in letters to return the money so it could be used for the welfare of Rawalpindi citizens.

He added that the RDA collected Rs240.73m in revenue in 2018-19, which was higher than the target of Rs222.86m. The authority also saved Rs90.48m by reducing its expenditures the same year.

“We have been allocated Rs260.4m to run the affairs of the authority, but we have saved a huge amount acting on the prime minister’s drive for austerity,” he said.

Mr Abbasi said the Punjab government has allocated Rs4 billion for the execution of the Ring Road project, which would begin soon.

“The Ring Road is the future of the city and it will change the fate of the residents of Rawalpindi,” he said, adding that the RDA would also build three overhead bridges on Airport Road at a cost of Rs20m.

He said Rs5m have been allocated for financial assistance for families of deceased RDA employees.

The RDA has cracked down on owners of illegal and unapproved housing societies and demolished their offices in order to protect citizens from being defrauded, he added.

“The RDA has uploaded the status and layout plans of all private housing societies on its website for people’s guidance,” he said.

He added that the newly inducted management of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) had resolved the water scarcity issue despite having limited resources.

“The government has begun working on three mega projects, the Chahan, Daducha and Ghazi Barotha dams, in order to cater to the city’s water needs,” he said.

Wasa has also finished dredging Nullah Leh, at a cost of Rs10m, to avoid losses in the monsoon and preparations have been completed prevent flooding in the city areas.

The RDA is working on replacing old and rusting water supply lines in the city, he said, to provide clean drinking water to residents. The revenue of civic bodies needs to be increased to bridge the gap between expenditures and income.

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