ISLAMABAD: Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, the President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), has called upon the government to repeal Section 7E, aiming to stimulate investment in the real estate and construction sector and rejuvenate the economy.
Bakhtawari expressed concern that the introduction of Section 7E via the Finance Act 2022 has acted as a significant deterrent for potential investments in the real estate sector, ultimately affecting the overall economy.
These remarks were made during his address to a delegation of real estate developers and builders who visited ICCI.
Highlighting the urgency of the matter, Mr. Bakhtawari noted that following a Lahore High Court ruling, the collection of deemed income tax under Sec-7E has already ceased in Punjab.
He urged the government to extend this repeal nationwide to eliminate such disparities.
In addition, Bakhtawari informed the delegation that ICCI is vigorously advocating for the removal of this tax in the upcoming budget.
He asserted that this move would facilitate the expansion of business and investment activities within the real estate and construction industry.
By concentrating on the real estate and construction sector, the government has the potential to steer the country’s economy from recession towards sustainable development, he added.
Sardar Tahir Mehmood, President of the Federation of Realtors Pakistan, emphasized that overseas Pakistanis prefer to invest in the country’s real estate sector.
However, he expressed concerns over increased tax burdens, which he believes are discouraging foreign investments.
He stressed the imperative nature of addressing this issue seriously and offering attractive incentives to boost foreign investment, providing crucial support to the fragile economy.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, former President of ICCI and CEO of Centaurus underlined that a reduction in heavy taxes on the real estate sector could attract billions of dollars in foreign investments to Pakistan, potentially aiding in the economic revival.
He urged the interdependence of the real estate and construction sector with numerous allied industries, suggesting that reducing high taxes within this sector would invigorate business activities across all allied industries, thereby stimulating the country’s economic growth.
Khalid Iqbal Malik, ICCI Group Leader, stressed that the real estate sector serves as a major source for attracting remittances and foreign investments.
However, he pointed out that the imposition of unnecessary taxes has led to a significant decline in both remittances and investments.
Besides, he also requested the stakeholders to rationalize taxes within this sector, withdraw tax on deemed income, and create a conducive environment that would drive economic development in the country.