Extension in construction sector package sought

Nisar says it would support economy during second wave of Covid-19

Our Correspondent December 27, 2020

The amnesty scheme for the construction sector has boosted the socio-economic status of daily wagers and supported the construction industry and its allied sectors, said Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Mian Anjum Nisar.

In a statement on Saturday, he appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan for introducing the scheme and emphasised that the decision turned out to be beneficial in mitigating the impact of Covid-19 all over Pakistan.

“This incentive scheme attracts builders, developers and purchasers of housing units and plots who have not availed them yet,” he said. “Even the economic fallout from Covid-19 pandemic failed to hinder the construction sector from providing jobs to millions of daily wage earners.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced the amnesty scheme for the real estate and construction sector in April 2020 and it would remain valid till December 31, 2020.

Elaborating on the scheme, he said the focus of the relief package was on construction and housing sector with a two-fold aim of providing employment to daily wage earners and spurring economic activity.

“Stakeholders availing this scheme needed to register with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) portal,” he added.

He remarked that under the scheme, builders, developers and purchasers of housing societies and projects were exempted from declaring the source of their income.

Tax on gains on investment was waived off for all citizens who wanted to sell their homes, he said.

However, the official urged the prime minister to extend the deadline of the scheme and called for introduction of similar facilities for other sectors of the economy as well.

He stressed that the strategy could support the economy of Pakistan during the second wave of Covid-19 and hoped that it would prove to be a turning point for the country’s economy as well as the housing and construction sector. He underlined that if the scheme continued for another year, more daily wage earners would be able to secure jobs and support their families. He said that daily wage earners were the most vulnerable segment of the society as they were fighting the second phase of Covid-19 and poverty at the same time.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2020.

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