An official highlighted that the construction sector required more tax liberalisation to compete with other regional countries. PHOTO: FILE

Dealing with Covid-19: Businessmen hail PTI govt's measures

Pakistani businessmen say PTI govt's decisions will open new avenues of investment, create employment

APP April 19, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The measures announced by the government of Pakistan to mend the economic and financial downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has attracted praise of leading industrialist, businessmen and economists.

“In the current situation, when the global economy has entered a recession, the government has taken excellent steps to uplift construction industry by providing it with tax concessions and other incentives,” said Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Executive Director Dr Abid Suleri.

Speaking to APP on Saturday, he said in the longer term, the impact of this pragmatic decision would uplift investments in property and construction sector and open new avenues of fresh investments.

“Tax relaxations will have positive impact on the construction industry which will not only open opportunities but also uplift 70 other allied industries,” he said. “However in the current situation, there is a need to ensure transport and labour availability for the construction industry.”

He pointed out that in the present scenario, the safety of labour at workplace could also be a daunting task.

Suleri considered it the right time for the construction sector to take-off hence he called for a comprehensive strategy to reap more benefits from government’s tax relief package.

Pakistan Institute of Development Economic (PIDE) Vice Chancellor Dr Nadeemul Haque also lauded the tax relaxation given to the construction industry and added that it would promote market liberalisation in the sector.

In turn, the market regularisation and liberalisation would help promote growth in the construction industry which would open avenues of new investment and job opportunities in this sector, he said.

The official highlighted that the construction sector required more tax liberalisation to compete with other regional countries.

“Construction of high rise building and other big projects would also promote growth and investment,” he said.

Economist and former chairman of Balochistan Board of Investment Dr Kaiser Bengali said that this ordinance would not only help recover old investment but also provide new employment opportunities in the country.

He was of the view that small housing schemes for the middle class would be a better option to reap complete benefits from the tax relaxation granted by the government.

Meanwhile, Association of Builder and Developers (ABAD) Chairman Mohsin Sheikhani said that the government had declared the sector as an industry due to the huge demand.

Mohsin said that ABAD was demanding incentives for the construction sector because more than 70 allied industries were dependent on it.

All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association Chairman Azam Faruque said, “We would get indirect benefits from the economic package while other allied industry will reap direct benefit of this.”

He said that in the current challenging situation, when the entire global economy is in slowdown mode, Pakistan had a huge opportunity to choose better options to come out of this crisis.

Separately, Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) Chairman Mian Kashif Ashfaq hailed State Bank of Pakistan’s decision of slashing the monetary policy rate by 200 basis points to 9%.

According to him, the move would help the country counter the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy besides giving relief to the business community for recuperating its industrial units.  

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2020.

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