Binding requirements have been placed on real estate agents, property dealers, jewelers, brokers, housing authorities, and developers for the generation of Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) as part of the reform measures that are being taken by the Government of Pakistan in compliance with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
According to a report by a national daily, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has sent notices to over 22,000 registered property dealers across Pakistan, directing them to register on the website of the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs).
While this notification has created a panic among the businessmen in the concerned industries, it has also caused confused the players in the real estate sector.
The government had recently extended the tax amnesty scheme for real estate builders to 30 June 2021. The scheme provides them exemption from disclosing any sources of income. At the same time, the FBR is going the other way with the process of complying with the FATF’s strict conditions. This ‘dual signaling’ is also creating a perplexing situation for potential investors.
The Real Estate Consultants Association (RECA), DHA, has reportedly written letters about the ambiguity in the FBR’s regulations and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s amnesty scheme for the facilitation of the real estate sector to the Minister of Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the Special Assistant to the PM on Revenues Dr. Waqar Masood, the FBR Chairman, and others.