November 03, 2021: Federal Secretary Board of Investment (BOI), Fareena Mazhar on Tuesday encouraged Investors to explore housing sector of Pakistan, which offered tremendous ‘Tax-Based Rebates'.
Eligible developers and builders would be exempted from withholding taxes on purchase of building materials, she said.
The Board of investment, under the leadership of the Secretary Board of Investment (BOI), Fareena Mazhar held an investment Seminar on “Construction and Housing for Sustainable Development” in Dubai , said a press release issued by BOI.
While discussing the opportunities in housing sector, Fareena shared that Pakistan’s annual demand of housing was estimated to be about 700,000 units, while only about half of this demand was currently being met.
She encouraged investors to explore the housing sector of Pakistan which offered tremendous tax-based rebates under tax laws amendment Ordinance 2020 and the incentives and facilitation in project approvals through one window operation by Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA).
The secretary further added that the Income Tax Ordinance had been amended to declare construction sector as an industrial undertaking, making it eligible for benefits and concession available to other industries.
Fareena underscored that in order to promote housing and construction of buildings (residential and non- residential) in Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had decided to advise mandatory targets to the banks.
Accordingly, each bank would ensure that the financing for housing and construction of buildings would be at least 5 percent of their domestic private sector credit by December, 2021, she added.
The secretary stated that economic uplift was an area of priority of the government and Pakistan, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan had been undergoing bold economic reforms which had helped the country improve significantly in all sectors of economy.
Fareena highlighted that despite being challenged at economic and geo political front, Pakistan had made considerable improvement in restoring economic stability and economy was moving on a positive growth trajectory.
The secretary apprised the audience on international think tanks and research groups appreciating Pakistan’s impressive economic turnaround.
She stated that this had been accomplished in the backdrop of a well-designed structural adjustment programme that was bringing reforms in all sectors of the economy and making substantial room for private sector initiatives.
Further apprising the audience about the initiatives undertaken by the government to facilitate investors, she mentioned the 22 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that were designed to become high-end commercial, technology and manufacturing hubs, four of which were equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and business ecosystems and were ready for investment as Early Harvest projects.
Underscoring the strategic location of the country, the secretary said that Pakistan was a promising regional hub and an important destination for trade and investment. She further added that a wide-based population pyramid and an expanding middle-class further make it a robust consumer market for foreign investors.
Representatives from FWO, Accor Hotels and IHC Group of Companies were among other distinguished speakers of the seminar.
Major General Kamal Azfar, Director General, Frontier Works Organization (FWO) highlighted joint venture opportunities in Road Networks / Motorways in Pakistan.
Jean-Baptiste Recher, Vice President –Development Accor Hotels, UAE shared his future plans about construction of hotels in Islamabad and Lahore.
President & CEO, IHS Group of companies Noman Qamar, also expressed keen interest in investing in tourism and hospitality sector of Pakistan.
He particularly mentioned investing in hotels and resorts in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Northern areas of Pakistan.
The Secretary emphasized upon the incumbent government’s commitment to protect and encourage foreign investments and assured the investors of complete facilitation and assistance from BOI, foreign missions, and Pakistani embassies regarding their investment endeavors in Pakistan.