Real estate consultants laud revision of evaluation rate, criticise lack of amnesty scheme

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ISLAMABAD: The real estate consultants have demanded the government to announce a general amnesty scheme for investors in real estate across the country without further delay to stop investment outflow to UAE and other countries of the world.

In a press statement issued here on Wednesday Real Estate Consultants Association (RECA) DHA Islamabad General Secretary and Federation of Realtors (FOR) Pakistan Executive Member Muhammad Ahsan Malik said that Pakistanis are investing billions of rupees in other countries due to the absence of a feasible amnesty scheme and irrational taxation policies.

He further added that due to taxes enforced on the real estate in July 2016, investment in the sector had decreased and unemployment had reached its peak for the sector.

However, he lauded that the government had recently taken some very positive steps to protect the investment in real estate sector which included the revision of the FBR evaluation rate in January 2018 which was wrongly imposed in 2016.

“It is a very positive step and we are extremely indebted to Advisor to Prime Minister for Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan and Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile Industry Malik Muhammad Parvez for this, but without general amnesty scheme and reduction in taxes, the real estate could not flourish at all,” he added.

Ahsan Malik added that they wanted to pay tax but the property tax imposed from July 2016 had been highly unjustified, excessive and unilateral.

The association’s general secretary further said that this irrational taxation was also hurting the economic situation in Pakistan. He requested that the government should consult the property dealers and real estate consultants before imposing any taxes in the real estate sector.

“RECA demands Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi withdraw 100 per cent increase in taxes imposed on real estate in July 2016. It is also requested of the government that the 2 per cent service charges (commission) of the real estate consultants should be given legal protection, so that this business can flourish,” Ahsan Malik said.

He said that overseas Pakistani investing in real estate in Pakistan should be given the status of tax filler and tax should be charged from them accordingly.