Govt launches fixed-tax scheme to woo builders, land developers
–– approves ordinance against hoarding of goods
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Friday approved an ordinance providing legal cover to the incentive package announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan for the construction industry earlier this month in a bid to create employment opportunities in the country to ward off adverse effects of the coronavirus crisis on economy.
Under the ordinance, a fixed tax regime is being introduced for builders and developers. There will be no withholding tax on the construction material except cement and steel.
Provision of services has been exempted from withholding tax.
As per the ordinance, tax has been reduced by 90 per cent for low cost houses to be constructed under ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Authority’.
This incentive package will be applicable for the projects to be initiated before the end of this year as well as the ongoing incomplete projects, which will get themselves registered under the scheme.
The builders and developers will have to get their new and ongoing projects registered with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) through IRIS web portal.
One time exemption has been given on capital gain tax for the house measuring 500 square yards and flat of 4,000 square yards.
The construction industry will be eligible to avail the same kind of facilities available to other industries for the import of plant and machinery.
Advance tax on auction of properties has been reduced to 5 per cent from 10 per cent. Sales tax on construction services in the federal capital territory has been brought to zero on the pattern of Punjab.
Exemption has also been given on capital value tax in the federal capital territory on the pattern of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
Under the scheme, those investing this year in the construction sector will not be asked about sources of income. However, public office holders and their dependents will not be granted exemption from not declaring their sources of wealth.
PM Imran earlier this month had announced an incentive package for the construction sector and its allied industries to strike a balance between hunger and lockdown.
The federal government also approved an ordinance against hoarding basic food items and goods, a few months after the sugar and wheat crises caused prices of the basic food items to skyrockets across the country.
The prime minister presided over a meeting focused on curbing smuggling and hoarding of basic food items. As per the ordinance, those found guilty of hoarding will be slapped with a three-year imprisonment sentence and a heavy fine.
The prime minister directed the government to seek help from intelligence agencies in identifying smugglers and hoarders. During the meeting, he said that stern action against smugglers and hoarders was necessary as these crimes ultimately resulted in the poor paying a heavy price.