Deputy Commissioner Central, Dr MB Raja Dharejo has said that the e-tax payment facility, which was introduced in district Central as pilot project, has proved successful hence it will now be expanded to all districts of Karachi within the next one-and-a-half month. Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), the DC categorically stated that no new tax or tariff has been introduced in the e-tax payment facility which was an online local tax collection system in which all the taxation rates have been kept intact while the collection under municipal charges was not something new which was being charged exactly as per relevant laws. President KCCI M Shariq Vohra, Senior Vice President Saqib Goodluck, Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan, Chairman of KCCI’s Special Committee for Small Traders Majeed Memon and a large number of small traders mostly from District Central attended the meeting. The DC pointed out that the e-tax payment facility has been introduced with an intention to minimize human interaction which was resulting in harassing the shopkeepers to demand bribes. “With this initiative, the manual tax collection has been transformed into digital collection which would surely ease the process and save shopkeepers from harassment and corruption as the human interaction factor has been completely eliminated”, he said. He was of the view that as the funds generated from Municipal Charges are being transferred directly to DC Office’s account hence, these funds will be returned to the shopkeepers in the shape of municipal development work in their respective markets. Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Shariq Vohra stressed the need to minimise the hardships being faced by small traders who play a very important role in the economic development of the country. “The local administration will have to take effective steps to strictly deal with the harassment by officials from the DC office who fearlessly walk into any shop to negotiate taxes and demand bribes”, he added. He said that the idea of introducing e-tax payment facility was demanded initially by Karachi Chamber long time ago for not just Karachi city but for the rest of the province and all over the country. Finally, the Sindh government has implemented it which the business community warmly welcomes as it would help in dealing with the menace of corruption. However, the Sindh government and the local administration must ensure that the already perturbed shopkeepers were not being overburdened by imposing any new tax and the rates of existing taxes have to be kept lower as the small traders and shopkeepers were still facing serious crises due to the coronavirus pandemic. Majeed Memon stated that the shopkeepers and small traders should not be overburdened by imposing new taxes. He underscored that as the small traders and shopkeepers were already battling hard for survival in an extraordinary situation triggered by the pandemic, the local administration must scrap the Municipal Charges until the pandemic is completely over and the business environment returns to normalcy.