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ISLAMABAD: Real estate business leaders on Sunday demanded a level playing field and facilities in business to provide growth in the real estate sector, which is extremely important for economic development in the country.

The President of the Islamabad Estate Agent Association (EAA) said that the real estate sector can play a catalytic role in bringing the country out of the current economic challenges.

He said this while addressing the All Pakistan Real Estate Conference, organized by the Islamabad Estate Agent Association (EAA) and Federation of Realtors Pakistan here in a local hotel.

In addition to Chairman of Realtors Pakistan Ejaz Khan, real estate leaders from across the country and President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce Saqib Rafiq, Secretary General, United Business Group (UBG) Federation Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Zafar Bakhtawari and leaders from related industries from the four provinces also spoke on the occasion.

Sardar Tahir Mehmood said that the real estate sector is the second largest sector of the country in which the investment volume is $88 billion.

The President EAA said that every year overseas Pakistanis invest $4 billion in this sector which can be increased to $8 billion.

Meanwhile, addressing the conference, he demanded that the government should implement tax rationalization, abrogation of 7E, pave the way for overseas investment and reduce the tax rate.

Sardar Tahir said that with these measures, the investment will increase in the country and the economy of the country will flourish.

At present, this sector is facing major challenges, in which the excess of Gain tax, property registration and other taxes is a threat to this sector, he said.

He said that the government can take the country’s economy from recession to growth by developing this sector.

He said that the real estate sector is currently a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in which the largest workforce is currently working.

President EAA said that currently 1 million people and 700,000 families are involved in the real estate business, which is the responsibility of the current government.

He said that real estate should be given the status of an industry, at present around 70 allied industries are associated with this sector.

They also include the export industry, which has been exempted from tax by the government in other sectors, he said.

He said that cement and steel and other industries are among the major exporters, but the government is not paying attention to them.

Sardar Tahir said that if the government does not accept our demands, all the national organizations will hold a press conference at the Press Clubs in every city from January 16 and after that, more strict measures will be considered in the future.

Meanwhile, addressing the conference, the Chairman Federation of Realtors Pakistan Ijaz Khan said that the real estate sector is currently going through a more challenging period than in history.

He said that if the government does not accept our demands, “we will be forced to take further measures.”

He said that the tax rate should be reduced and this emerging industry should be given an opportunity to play its role in the country’s economy.

Speaking on this occasion, President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Saqib Rafiq said that we consider real estate as an important sector of the country’s economy.

He said that while acknowledging all their demands, we demand the government to consider their demands.

Saqib Rafiq said that the government should take notice of the problems of the business community seriously and take them on board.

He said that real estate is currently the biggest means of bringing investment into the country.

On this occasion, Zafar Bakhtawari, General Secretary of FPCCI, UBG group, said that the real estate industry has a very important role in the global economy.

He said that the government wants to recognize that this sector plays an important role in the economy of the country and is a major source of employment.

Senior Business Leader said that currently transactions of Rs 3000 billion are done in this sector in the country.

He said that the government should accept their demands and give them facilities.

On this occasion, representatives of the real estate sector from the four provinces including Punjab and Sindh, KPK and Balochistan and Azad Kashmir addressed the conference and demanded tax rationalization from the government for this sector.

On this occasion, Sirajul Haq, a leader related to real estate from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said that this is an important sector of the country’s economy, so the government should fulfill our demands.

Real estate leaders Najeeb Gul Abbasi, Ali Makhdoom, Colonel Asif Kiyani, Amir Shah, Muhammad Nader, Malik Wajahat, M Farrukh, Asif Sheikh spoke on this occasion.

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