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LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Friday gave SOS call to the government to save the crisis-hit Real Estate Sector.

While addressing a Seminar on Real Estate Business, Taxes, Potential and Way Forward, President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kashif Anwar said that real estate is an important sector of the economy which must be protected through conducive policies and soft taxation regime.

He said that this would attract local investors, expatriates and overseas Pakistanis. Dr. Kamran Fazal, Muhammad Akber, Mian Mubasher Iqbal, Abubakar Bhatti, Kashif Shahzad, Dr. Khalid Mahmood and Major Muhammad Rafiq Hasrat (retd) also spoke on the occasion.

LCCI Chief Kashif Anwar urged the real estate and other sectors of the economy to forward their doable suggestion to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry so that these could be made part of the LCCI Budget Proposals.

He said that the relief to the real estate is a must to run the economy as 72 industries are associated with this sector. “How the businesses would sustain in the presence of over taxation”, the LCCI President questioned and added that the documentation must be to flourish the businesses, not for the closures.

Kashif Anwar said that one, who buys property through white capital, should not be questioned by the authorities. He said that real estate is a dynamic sector and is the second largest job provider after agriculture and its crisis would lead to the unemployment.

Dr. Kamran Fazal said that the numbers of transfers are going down because of hike in advance tax rate which is resulting cut in government’s revenue. He added that there is a dire need to restore the confidence of overseas Pakistanis and they must be given tax relief on priority.

He also called for tax exemption for those who invest in construction sector to boost the economic activities. He emphasized to launch low cost housing projects and demanded tax relief for the builders and suppliers that would enable the common man to have his own roof while other associated industries would also flourish.

Major Rafiq Hasrat said that harsh tax measures should not be taken. He said that a permanent policy should be formulated for the real estate sector for 3 to 5 years. He also demanded that Real Estate Trade Regulatory Authority should be activated.

The participants of the meeting called for a fixed tax instead of a large number of taxes. They said that declaration scheme should be introduced to for undeclared capital. They said that bogus housing schemes should be strictly controlled. They said that societies should be bound to give plots within two years. They said that tax free zones should be established for foreign investors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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