Builders’ meeting with Ishaq Dar and Haroon Akhtar postponed till Thursday

KARACHI: The meeting of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Advisor to the Prime Minister Haroon Akhtar with 13-members committee of the builders and developers has been postponed till tomorrow (Thursday) morning, while all the members submitted their suggestions before the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) here on Wednesday.

President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Rauf Alam, said the meeting was held today in the FBR office and most of the 13-members of the committee submitted their details reports and suggestions to the FBR regarding the immoveable property valuations in their cities.

Hanif Gohar, chairman Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) said that he also tabled his suggestions, in which he asked the finance minister to increase the Collector Value up to 50 per cent of the previous value to stop the corruption in the valuation mechanism but on the other side, the government should cut the Capital Gain Tax (CGT) on the transfer of the property from 10 percent to 5 per cent and Regulatory Duty up to one per cent.

Following the suggestions submitted by the constituted committee members, it is learnt that the government likely to accept the suggestions or announce any amnesty scheme for declaring undocumented money invested in the immovable properties.

The sources said that the scheme may be called property investment regularize scheme under which a person would be able to declare the amount more than the collector value for the purchase of immovable property. The declaration will be made as per the valuation that will be agreed between the government and stakeholders at a meeting to be held on July 28 (Thursday).

The sources said that if a person declared value but pay more than that for the purchase of immovable property and on the identification of such the person would be asked for source of investment.

President FPCCI Rauf Alam has assured the issue of the valuers in property prices would be resolved soon as the decision of the government would create hurdles for the construction industry or the individual.

ABAD had strongly rejected the government’s efforts to give extra-ordinary discretionary powers to the income tax commissioner for determining value of property terming it opening of another gateway of corruption.

Hanif Gohar warned the government to avoid unnecessary heavy taxation on construction sector and raw materials including cement and steel, as this act will not only lead to massive flight of capital from this sector but also effect growth of tax net.

The government, by amending section 68 (2) of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, wants to enhance discretionary powers of the tax officials, which is against the announced policy of the FBR and this amendment, if carried, would open flood gates of corruption, which is not acceptable to construction sector and also detrimental for the prosperity of the country.

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