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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance has sought withdrawal of new evaluation of properties with suggestion to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to determine the value of immovable properties in consultation with stakeholders in next 15 days.

The meeting of the finance committee presided over by Senator Talha Mehmood on Monday, unanimously condemned the Sialkot incident before passing a resolution, as members stated that such acts of extremism have no place in Islam and urged the government to build a national consensus against this kind of aggression and violence.

The committee, unanimously, commended the brave efforts of Malik Adnan and others, who displayed the real spirit of Pakistan by risking their lives to try and stop the angry mob.

On agenda item of new valuation of properties, Chairman FBR Dr Ashfaq Ahmed briefed the meeting that field formations, who were assigned the task, have done this exercise in consultation with the stakeholders.

He further stated that for re-valuation, the FBR has followed the mechanism as practiced in the past and the FBR has done this exercise despite lack of sufficient resources for a comprehensive on-ground assessment of properties for valuation.

The chairman committee directed the FBR officials to revoke the recent SRO issued in this regard and urged the FBR officials to determine the value of immovable properties in consultation with the relevant stakeholders in the next 15 days.

Upon this, Senator Kamil Ali Agha stated that the FBR has increased the value of properties from 100 to 700 percent “without any logical justification and rationale”. Senior officials from the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries and members of other real estate organisations informed the Committee that the FBR has increased the value of properties without any due deliberation and consultation with relevant stakeholders.

The meeting further directed the FBR officials to take on board all the relevant stakeholders in the process. The meeting suggested that during the ongoing consultation process for a new mechanism, previous regulation and arrangements should be put in place, so that businesses can run as usual.

Senator Saleem Mandviwala said that instead of blaming the FBR, the issue should be resolved and added that the FBR has been fixing property prices since the days of Pakistan People’s Party government.

He said that there was a need to build a national consensus on the matter. Meeting was attended by senators, Syed Shibli Faraz, Saleem Mandviwala, Sherry Rehman, Kamil Ali Agha, Saadia Abbasi, Syed Faisal Ali Subzwari, Anwarul Haq Kakar, Leader of the House, Dr Shahzad Waseem, senior officials from the FBR, and representatives of real estate organisations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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