Construction sector to spur economy, create jobs: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government is working on the construction industry’s promotion on priority, as the sector would accelerate economic activities and would also create job opportunities for people.

Chairing a meeting in this connection on Wednesday, he said that the government was aware of the problems being faced by people due to financial difficulties, adding that all possible efforts were afoot to accelerate economic and business activities in the country.

The meeting was attended by Finance Advisor Dr Abdul Hafiz Shaikh, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority Chairman Lt Gen (r) Anwar Ali Haider and Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) representative Muhammad Hassan Bakhshi.

The PM said that over 40 industries were attached to the construction industry which is why its promotion would yield benefits for a large number of people.

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“The construction sector would be given the status of an industry,” the PM stated, directing the relevant authorities to ensure that this decision is implemented at its earliest.

The PM stated that after acquiring industrial status, the construction sector would also get all those facilities which were being offered to other industries.

He directed the Competitive Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to play an active role in ending the issues that lead to the making of cartels as well as stopping unrealistic surge in prices of raw materials related to the construction industry.

During the meeting, Finance Advisor Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, while informing the prime minister about the progress on government efforts regarding the construction sector’s promotion, said that there had been sufficient development in addressing various problems of the construction sector after meetings with the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) and other related people.

He also informed the meeting that the government, in the first phase of its aim to promote the construction sector, had allocated Rs25 billion to the Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA).

The meeting was told that a consensus had been made regarding the future policy of fixed income tax while the government had already made its policy about the construction of high-rise buildings; a decision which was also endorsed by the Cabinet in its meeting on Tuesday.

On the topic of the valuation table, the meeting was told that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would appoint a regional valuation committee, including representatives of ABAD and real estate, next week.

Furthermore, the PM directed Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to request the superior judiciary to constitute a special bench for quick disposal of pending cases related to real estate and construction sectors.

Towards the end of the meeting, the prime minister, in response to a proposal for the provision of state land for construction purposes, agreed that it was an important part of the government’s policy to utilise properties belonging to government departments for construction purposes, especially for low-income people.

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