KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said the government will revisit federal taxes on the transfer of properties and bring them at a rational level.

In a meeting with a delegation of the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) the other day in Islamabad, Mr Abbasi assured the builders to look into the high-rise ban in Karachi and Islamabad.

Construction sector is the back-bone of the national economy which provides jobs to thousands of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workforce, he added.

He assured ABAD of providing all the basic facilities including water, gas and electricity for the ABAD Social Housing Schemes in Islamabad, Karachi and other cities of the country besides also reducing federal taxes on transfer of properties.

ABAD Chairman Arif Yousuf Jeewa said that the sector is on the verge of collapse due to the ban on construction of high-rise and multi-story buildings in Karachi.

Thousands of people including architects, engineers and workers have lost jobs, he said, and that investments of more than Rs900 billion have been stopped as almost 400 plans for high-rise buildings only in Karachi are waiting for approval.

He warned of an exodus of investments from the country if the situation is not reversed. He also requested the Prime Minister to include a desalination plant into Karachi Package announced by the federal government to overcome water shortage in the city.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2018

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