LCCI calls for soft taxation regime for real estate sector

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Real Estate players have sought the help of Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) for revival of squeezing dying businesses.

A delegation of Estate Agents Association led by President Federation of Realtors Pakistan Maj. (R) Rafiq Hasrat, here on Monday called on LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid and informed him of the issues being faced by the real estate sector. Convener of the LCCI Standing Committee on Real Estate Amir Qureshi and Co-convener Babar Ismail Butt also spoke on the occasion.

The delegation informed the LCCI President that heavy taxation had affected the real estate sector which was not only an important source of revenue for government but also providing direct or indirect employment to millions of people.

He said, the real estate sector could generate huge revenue for the government once it was declared as an industry. He demanded to reduce taxes on services of real estate agents and a regulatory authority should be established for real estate industry.

He said that realtors were ready to pay rational taxes but recovery of their two percent of deal commission should also be ensured through legal binding, he added. LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said that real estate was an important sector of Pakistan’s economy which should be protected through conducive policies and soft taxation regime, citing that it would not only attract local investors but also foreign and overseas Pakistanis.

Malik Tahir Javaid said that real estate was a dynamic sector and had the ability to attract huge foreign investment but because of adverse policies and taxation, it was facing catastrophe-like circumstances and struggling for survival. He said that real estate sector was the second largest job provider and its crisis would lead to the unemployment. He said that government could achieve its economic targets but with due support of business community.

LCCI Vice President said that transactions in real estate sectors had been fallen by around 90 percent, and if taxes were withdrawn from real estate sector, it could enhance government’s revenue as number of transactions would be increased.

He said that withholding tax on bank transactions had also affected the real estate sector hard, therefore, it should be withdrawn immediately. He also urged the federal and provincial governments to bring parity in the table list for the real estate sector.

LCCI President said that General Sales Tax on real estate sector should not be more than two percent. He said that commission of real estate dealers should be protected through legal cover.

He assured the delegation that genuine issues of real estate sector would be taken up with Prime Minister’s Advisor for Finance Miftah Ismail and other authorities concerned.