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August 25, 2020

Sindh abolishes capital value tax to facilitate construction sector

Karachi

August 25, 2020

The Sindh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed the Sindh Finance (Amendment) Bill-2020 to abolish the system of capital value tax in the province.

The bill was moved in the house by Sindh Revenue Minister Makhdoom Mahboob Zaman. The bill envisages different incentives for the construction sector and is aimed at facilitating 40 different industries associated with the construction and real estate sectors.

Levied on deals related to leasing, sale and purchase of property, the capital value tax had been a massive source of revenue for the Sindh government. Speaking in the house, the revenue minister said the bill passed for a national cause and the Sindh government had sacrificed its revenue for the country.

He said the PPP’s chairman deserved the credit for taking this step. He said the federal government should also take such measures. The revenue minister said the Sindh government had not collected revenue up to five billion rupees for the sake of the industrial sector as it was their desire that the federal government should come up with similar steps to facilitate the industries.

Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Assembly opposition leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi said more facilitation was being provided with the construction and the real sectors in other provinces and in return, those provinces were attracting more number of prospective investors.

He said the Sindh government should give more emphasis on facilitating the construction sector. Naqvi said the construction industry should also be encouraged in Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana. He said the Sindh government should withdraw taxes on small housing units too.

Opposition lawmaker Khawaja Izharul Hassan said new real estate projects were being developed in the surroundings of the Islamabad Airport but no such development was taking place in Karachi. He urged the federal government to withdraw the withholding tax related to the construction sector.

MPA Jawed Hanif demanded the completion of three big residential schemes in Karachi, namely the Taiser Town, the Gulshan-e-Malir and the Hawkes Bay Scheme, saying they would provide housing facilities to a number of people and also generate massive employment opportunities.

Education and labour Minister Saeed Ghani said the Sindh government would provide alternative accommodation to the people who had been living in residential buildings deemed as illegal in Karachi.

He said there was a ban on the construction of high-rise buildings in the city owing to a lack of essential utility services as there was no such restriction in other cities.

Postings in Karachi

Earlier speaking in the house, MQM-P’s Jawed Hanif raised the issue that “corrupt and criminal police officials are being posted in Karachi”. He criticised the postings of police officials in a large number to Karachi “from the rest of Sindh”. To this, the labour minister cautioned Hanif that he should not make any attempt to divide the province into ethnic lines.

Ghani said every citizen of Sindh had a rightful claim on Karachi. He said such a statement full of hatred and toxicity should not be allowed in the house. He asked for what reason the policemen belonging to the rest of Sindh could not perform their duties in Karachi. “These people have the mindset similar to that of Altaf Hussain,” said Ghani.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Department Saleem Baloch informed the house that Hub Dam had been completely filled with water due to rains in its catchment area.

He said that the Sindh government had given the suggestion that Karachi should be supplied with 150 million gallons daily water from Hub Dam as compared to the current supply of 100 MGD from the same source of bulk supply for the city.

He said that such a move would be helpful in overcoming water shortage in Karachi to a large extent.

Online harassment

The house unanimously passed a resolution, presented by PPP’s Sharmila Farooqi, to condemn online harassment of woman journalists, TV anchors and political commentators. She demanded of the Cyber Crime Cell of the Federal Investigation Agency to investigate the instances of online harassment against the woman journalists. She said 18 woman journalists in the country had raised this issue.

She said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had been in the habit of using abusive language against its critics.

Protest

At the outset of the proceedings of the house, opposition legislators gathered near the rostrum of the speaker and protested against the decision to make Keamari the seventh district of Karachi.