LAHORE: The Punjab government has started working out the charges / rates for land use conversion in the existing industrial zone falling within territorial jurisdiction of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project.
The Board of Revenue (BoR) will soon accomplish this job after which the owners of over 800 industrial units may get the status of their factories / units land changed from agriculture to industrial or commercial by paying the requisite fee, Dawn has learnt.
“At a recent meeting, we have been told that the BoR is currently working to assess and finalise the rates, fees or charges for the conversion of our land use status. Let’s see what decision the board takes,” Mian Kamran, Ravi Industrial Estate Association Senior Vice Chairman Mian Kamran, told Dawn.
According to Kamran, the industrial area falling within the Ravi project revenue limits consists of around 7,300 acre, out of which 2,500 acre have over 800 industrial units manufacturing steel, aluminum, pipes etc. On the remaining land (4,800 acre), Ruda plans to develop an industrial estate in collaboration with the business community.
“The status of 2,500 acre where the industrial units exist at present is mentioned as agriculture in the revenue record. And Ruda plans to change category / nature of this land to commercial or industrial since there is no agricultural activity in the existing industrial zone,” Kamran explained.
“The association, a few months ago, had also urged Ruda to impose the land use conversion charges according to DC rate of agricultural land. But our request was not entertained,” he maintained. Later, Ruda forwarded the matter to the BoR, the province’s apex revenue and relief authority, to work out the charges for the land use conversion in the industrial zone.
The Ravi industrial zone, previously, was not considered to be a regulated industry in Lahore. However, after launch of the Ravi project, the government first decided to shift this zone to another place over which the association launched protest demonstrations, forcing the government to change its decision subject to some conditions.
During various meetings with the association office-bearers, the industry owners agreed to pay Rs525,000 per kanal fee in installments to Ruda for carrying out development work in the existing zone.
Similarly, the industry agreed to pay Rs30,000 processing charges and per sq feet fee for the approval of building plans / maps. “Ruda, initially, also tried to convince us of paying 20 per cent of the total value of the land as land use conversion charges. But we requested it to better go for a new formula for the land use conversion fee which is being worked out by BoR at present,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, at a recent meeting, the Ruda authorities have told the association office-bearers about the land use conversion fee that will be imposed by Ruda after being assessed and finalised by the BoR in near future. During meeting it was also decided to speed up the units’ registration with Ruda in a bid to collect development charges from them.
The matter related to launch of infrastructural development work in the industrial zone was also discussed at the meeting. The Ruda authorities told the association that the delay was due to a massive increase in the material cost. “Now we have received new rates as per existing situation. And soon we will update the PC-1,” reads minutes of the meeting.
Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2022
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