The High Court (HC) has dismissed a writ petition that challenged the realisation of 17 per cent holding tax by the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) as per the model tax schedule 2016 framed by the government.
The HC in its verdict has paved the way for assessment and realisation of taxes and rates at 17 per cent including 7 per cent holding tax, 7 per cent conservancy rate and 3 per cent illumination rate by the city corporation, said Chittagong Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin while exchanging views with media people at Chittagong Press Club this afternoon.
An HC bench comprising Justice Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice JBM Hassan on Wednesday issued the ruling on the writ petition filed by four persons including Md Jahirul Haque.
Earlier, the High Court issued a stay order on the realisation of tax by the city corporation for six months and asked the corporation to explain why it should impose 17 per cent tax on city dwellers.
The mayor said different newspapers wrongly stated in their reports that the court ruled to realise 7 per cent tax in stead of 17 per cent based on misreading of the court ruling because the court has retained total tax at 17 per cent while holding tax at 7 per cent is one of the three components of the tax regime.
He further said as per clauses 3, 5, 6 and 8 of the City Corporation Model Tax Schedule 2016, the government fixed holding tax at 7 per cent, conservancy rate at 7 per cent, illumination rate at 5 per cent and health tax at 8 per cent. The Chittagong City Corporation is realising 17 per cent in three segments.
The mayor said the whole mass transit system in the city would be brought under a single management that can reduce traffic congestion largely. Bus operators create traffic congestion at intersections as they are engaged in an unhealthy competition to draw maximum passengers, he added.
Under the single management, he said, vehicle owners would get their due profit share of transport fare according to their seat capacity excluding expenditure on account of wages of drivers and helpers, fuel cost and other related costs.
It will also immensely benefit the passengers, he said, adding that he has already made such a proposal to the mass transport operators who are operating buses and other modes of vehicles in the city.
The mayor said he has also planned to construct passengers' sheds at all crossings and halt stations in the city.
Regarding freeing the footpaths from hawkers, he said footpaths in the city would be freed from hawkers immediately after this Eid-ul-Azha.
The mayor said listed hawkers would get a part of the footpaths to be dedicated to them to sell their goods from 5.00 pm to 11.00 pm leaving the rest of the footpaths open for the commuters.
Only listed hawkers having identity cards with photographs to be issued by the city corporation would be allowed on the spaces marked for them, he added.
Presided over by president of Chittagong Press Club Kalim Sarwar, the meeting was addressed, among others, by Press Club general secretary Suklal Das, former presidents Abu Sufian and Ali Abbas, president and general secretary of Chittagong Union of Journalists Reaz Hyder Chowdhury and Mohammed Ali respectively, general secretary of Chittagong Journalists Cooperative Housing Society Hasan Ferdous and Press Club joint secretary Chowdhury Farid.