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August 15, 2020

Developers/builders unable to fully avail incentives of PM’s construction package

National

August 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: With registration of just 40 projects for availing incentives announced through Amnesty Scheme known as Prime Minister’s Construction Package, the concerned stakeholders have blamed relevant government departments for creating hurdles in the way for smooth and successful execution of this scheme.

Just 16 weeks are left to avail this scheme by registering themselves with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), while the concerned development authorities are so far unable to grant go ahead, creating difficulties for developers/builders to come up with fulfilling pre-requisite requirements.

If over 1,000 projects could be launched at this stage after lingering COVID-19 pandemic, it could give boost to sluggish economic activities, create job opportunities and provide substantial revenue into national kitty, said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ZEDIM International Chaudhry Abdul Majeed while talking to The News when asked about fate of PM’s Construction Package.

According to the FBR announcement, so far 40 projects have been registered with it, whereas 4,812 projects have prepared drafts for registration in the IRIS System. Furthermore, one purchaser has also submitted a declaration to the FBR, whereas 279 purchasers have prepared drafts in the IRIS System. However, the FBR’s insiders say that there is gap between the cup and lips and all other relevant authorities will have to gear up efforts to make this scheme successful otherwise it will become another failure on economic front.

Real estate developer Ch Abdul Majeed said that PM's construction package is a good initiative and can boost the economic activities tremendously.

On the contrary, he said bureaucracy is non-serious regarding its implementation. For example since the last two months Chairman CDA and DG RDA have approved no new layout plans (LOPs) of housing schemes and likewise any building plans of high-rise buildings as per PM's vision of vertical cities.

“Thus, because of these hurdles, the business community is not hopeful for the initiative's successful implementation,” he added.

To tackle this, he proposed to establish a special cell in the PM House under the supervision of retired or serving Lieutenant General for close coordination with developers and builders and his complaint numbers should be advertised in media to constantly monitor the implementation of the package and hold press conferences in this regard on weekly basis.

With these efforts, 1,000 mega projects are launched, economic activity will be boosted, there will be massive job creation and large tax revenue can be collected by the government, he added.

Arif Jeeva, former Chairman ABAD, said that the construction package which was introduced by the prime minister is the historic package for construction industry, which had never happened in 73 years history of Pakistan.

Not only from the Prime Minister House, all the concerned authorities are acting very positively towards this construction package for creating ease for contraction sector which in return will favour the General public, he maintained. With this, the construction package prior approval process is to be done through one window operation within one month. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is introducing one-window online process and their approval will be done without any hindrance within one month, same as Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has already introduced. Sindh Building Control Authority SBCA is also working according to the prime minister’s construction package and had introduced one window operation in Karachi.

It’s not only one construction industry that run itself, there are approximately 72 direct and indirect industries which run along with the construction sector, with this package all industries will run along for the better economy of Pakistan.

Sardar Tahir, President Federation of Realters Association Pakistan and Islamabad Estate Agenta, said that since the prime minister has announced a comprehensive package for real estate and construction, economic activities are visible throughout Pakistan.

He said the PM wants to further gear up the economic activities, whereas contrary to that development authorities are not cooperating with the developers and builders to approve their LOP’s and building plans. In-fact, without these approvals, developers and builders cannot enter into the next phase i.e. construction, he said.

The CDA and RDA have yet not approved LOP’s of housing societies and building plans of multi-storey buildings. So just 16 weeks have been left to end the PM package, business community is not much hopeful for the success of the package, he added.

To enhance the activity a committee under the supervision of PM Secretariat or Naya Pakistan Development Authority chairman post should be created for better coordination with the Federation of Realtors Pakistan, he concluded.