The business community has strongly opposed the hike in property valuation rates determined by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for immovable property in 40 major cities of Pakistan.

Referring to SRO1548(I)/2021 on Saturday, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) said that it would deal a massive blow to the property and construction sector and foil all efforts of the government aimed at revival of the economy.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, FPCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzab Akram requested FBR to immediately withdraw the decision in a bid to save the economy from severe damage.

“Keeping in view the vital role of property and construction sector in the economic development of Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan offered an attractive construction package which boosted the business and economic activities across the country,” he recalled. “However, an unprecedented hike in the market value of immovable properties by FBR without prior consultations with the stakeholders will dent the real estate and construction sector of Pakistan, spark unemployment and weaken the overall economy.”

Highlighting that FBR had fixed prices without taking stakeholders into confidence, he expressed strong reservations against the new market value of the property.

Following the release of the SRO, property price has risen by 200% to 400%, he said.

According to him, government’s decision would severely affect foreign exchange and foreign investment in Pakistan, Shahzab added.

FPCCI senior vice president further said that the stock exchange was on a downturn partly due to the adverse decision of the government.

“More than 40 sectors associated with the construction industry will be affected,” he said. “The increase in market value of property will destroy the construction package offered by the government.”

Shahzab further said that the sale and purchase of plots would fall as well.

Exchange of property has already slowed down due to inflation and the recent move of FBR will further slow down the property business.

On the occasion, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry former presidents Muhammad Ali Mian and Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, former vice president Tahir Manzoor and Muhammad Rafiq Hassrat endorsed Shahzab’s demand for repealing the SRO pertaining to revision of property valuation.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2021.

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