ISLAMABAD-Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), on Thursday urged the government to withdraw Section 7E in order to promote investment in the real estate and construction sector and revive the economy.
He said that the introduction of Section 7E through Finance Act 2022 has emerged as a major disincentive for investment in the real estate sector due to which the economy is suffering. He said this while addressing a delegation of real estate developers and builders during their visit to ICCI. Ahsan Bakhtawari said that after a judgment of the Lahore High Court, the collection of deemed income tax under Sec-7E has been stopped in Punjab and urged the government to withdraw it across the country to end such discrepancies.
He informed the delegation that ICCI is making strenuous efforts for the withdrawal of this tax in the next budget to facilitate the growth of business and investment activities in the real estate and construction industry. He said that the government can take the country’s economy from recession to sustainable development by focusing on the real estate and construction sector. Sardar Tahir Mehmood, President, Federation of Realtors Pakistan, said that the overseas Pakistanis prefer to invest in the real estate sector in Pakistan, but hike in taxes is discouraging them. He emphasized the need to give serious consideration to this issue and offer attractive incentives that would boost foreign investment in the country and provide crucial support to the fragile economy. Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, former President ICCI and CEO Centaurus, said that the cut in heavy taxes on the real estate sector can bring foreign investment of billions of dollars to Pakistan and help revive the economy.
He said that the business activities of many allied industries are linked with the real estate and construction sector and reducing high taxes on this sector would boost the business activities of all allied industries and stimulate the economic growth of the country. Khalid Iqbal Malik, ICCI Group Leader, said that the real estate sector is the major source of attracting remittances and foreign investment, however, the imposition of unnecessary taxes has led to a significant decline in remittances and investment. He urged he government to rationalize taxes on this sector, withdraw tax on deemed income and create a conducive environment for this sector to spur the economic development of the country.