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Fixed tax regime for construction sector extended till Dec 31, 2021: PM Imran Khan

Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the media following a weekly review meeting of the country’s high priority economic sectors, on December 31, 2020. — YouTube

– PM Imran Khan extends fixed tax regime for construction sector to Dec, 2021
– Says Rs186bn worth of projects were registered with the Federal Board of Revenue portal
– “For the first time banks are financing low cost housing,” says premier

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced that the fixed tax regime for the construction sector has been extended to December 31, 2021.

“Our construction industry was waiting for this, so I want to give them some good news for the year ahead,” said the premier.

He said this was a “big demand” from the industry and now it will have “a year extra”.

The premier was addressing the media following a weekly review meeting of the country’s high priority economic sectors.

He provided insight into the investment made in  Pakistan’s construction sector due to the incentives provided by the government in April, saying Rs186bn worth of projects were registered with the Federal Board of Revenue portal.

He said a further Rs116bn are in “draft form” and are pending registration.

The prime minister said in Punjab, the approval process is underway for Rs136bn worth of construction projects. He said with these projects, in the province, economic activity worth Rs1500bn can be expected due to which 250,000 jobs will be generated.

He said similar projects have also begun in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi, and Balochistan.

Low cost housing scheme

The prime minister said the government has also given incentives for low cost housing projects for the salaried class.

“Our first success in this regard is the foreclosure law that was passed by the court. For the first time banks are financing low cost housing,” he said.

Banks have especially allocated Rs378 billion for the construction sector, he added.

He said the interest rate for a 5 marla house will be capped at 5% and for a 10 marla house will be capped at 7%.

Other progress areas

The prime minister added that in bigger cities of the country, the government is working on master plans under which problems of sewerage and water supply will be addressed.

Shedding light on other projects, the premier said that the process of digitalisation of land-related data will be completed in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad by August 2021.

“The progress in the construction industry has also led to an increase in the sales of cement, barring, and other related equipment.”

‘Coronavirus strategy saved citizens from starvation’

Prime Minister Imran Khan looking back at what is being termed as the “year of the pandemic” said that his government devised careful strategies to save the country from the economic crisis brought about by the coronavirus lockdown.

“During the first wave of the pandemic, the government saved the citizens from unemployment and starvation,” the PM said, adding that the strategy of imposing a ‘smart lockdown’ turned out to be exceptionally beneficial for the country.”