A total of 112 individuals and companies have registered 123 housing projects with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), it was revealed during the weekly National Coordinating Committee meeting on housing, construction and development.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was briefed by the chairman on the online registration system. Awareness seminars have been organized in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The Sindh chief secretary said that a one-stop portal was working for investors under which 19 projects have been approved. NoCs have issued for 75 projects. A committee will oversee the projects and includes private sector representatives.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary said that investment in housing and construction projects has reached Rs83 billion for his province. There has been a significant increase in the sale of cement, bricks and steel.
The State Bank Governor said that consultation with private banks for easy installments has been completed and their reservations have been addressed.
The PM said that the process of issuing permits for projects should be made transparent, easy and quick to attract investors.
What the PM Construction Package offers?
Builders and developers can save around six times on taxes if they register under the Prime Minister’s construction package as it has a fixed regime. “This saving on tax will add up to whatever profit you make,” explained the FBR’s Abdul Hafeez while addressing them at a seminar on the ‘PM’s Package on Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme’ at the Association of Builders and Developers House October 7.
People can also whiten their “legally earned” money under the package as they will not be asked for a money trail. But money earned illegally or received through bribes cannot be laundered through this process.
People earn and save money through legal means but may not pay tax on it. This temporary scheme is so that their wealth can come into circulation, he explained. The scheme is not for government employees.
Builders and developers can register with the FBR by December 31, 2020 for both existing and new projects. FBR officials have been trying to reach out to builders and developers across the country to explain the benefits.
During the seminar skeptical builders asked Hafeez to share the number of projects the FBR has registered so far but he declined to share this information, saying they can’t for amnesty schemes. He did say that the response so far has been encouraging.
Analysts have been attributing high cement sales to the construction package. Over 60 allied industries get a boost when construction does well, which is why this strategy is often said to be good for economies.
The FBR has defined new projects as those for which work began during the period starting from April 17, 2020 and ends December 31, 2020 or is completed on or before September 30, 2022. Existing projects are defined as those that started before April 17, 2020 but are incomplete. They should also be completed by September 30, 2022.
Low-cost housing projects developed by Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority will be charged almost 90% lower taxes. ABAD chairman Fayyaz Ilyas asked the government to extend the date of the scheme by a year.