Govt’s offer for investors to whiten black money

Updated 13 Jul 2020

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National-level committee set up for promotion of construction industry. — AFP/File
National-level committee set up for promotion of construction industry. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Sunday asked investors to turn their black money into white by investing in the construction industry during a recess in international obligations that will last till Dec 31 this year.

“Investors have a chance to turn their black money into white by initiating construction projects before Dec 31,” he said while speaking at a joint press conference along with Naya Pakistan Housing Authority (NPHA) chief Lt Gen Anwar Ali Haider.

He said there was a recess in international obligations before Dec 31 this year, and during that period there was an incentive for investors to invest their money in the construction sector as in that period their sources of income would not be asked.

He clarified that sanctions of international organisations would be imposed after Dec 31.

National-level committee set up for promotion of construction industry

The minister also announced that a national level committee, headed by Gen Haider, had been set up for promotion of the construction sector.

He said the committee on construction would work on the pattern of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) which was set up to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The provision of affordable housing is a major problem for the country as banks generally do not lend money to the construction industry,” he added.

He said the construction industry actually ran the economy of the entire country as more than 40 industries were connected with it.

“An attractive package has been given to lift the construction industry as the government is serious about the success of this important project,” the minister said.

Mr Faraz urged builders to take full advantage of the government’s package.

The government, he said, had an extraordinary interest in the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) and that was the reason why the buyer of a five marla house would get a discount of Rs300,000.

For this purpose, he said, the government had allocated a subsidy of Rs30 billion.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt-Gen Anwar Ali Haider said that the government had abolished 90 per cent tax under section 111 of the Income Tax Ordinance and those with unclear income had been exempted till Dec 31 this year. Provincial taxes had also been reduced, he said.

A couple of days ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced an attractive construction package to address these problems. He had also announced a National Coordinating Committee for liaison between the center and provinces for the purpose.

He had said that taxes had been reduced for the construction industry and banks would now allocate five per cent of their portfolios (Rs330 billion) for house financing.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2020