A hefty tax incentives package declared for construction industry

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday announced a hefty package for the construction industry, including tax incentives, waivers and subsidies in the areas of sales tax, capital gain tax and withholding tax, in order to increase employment opportunities in the country in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
The Prime Minister also announced the opening of construction sector from April 14 to help the country’s daily wagers and laborers, affected by continued lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreak, to earn their livelihoods.
Announcing the package, the Prime Minister said those who invest in the sector during this fiscal year 2020-21 will not be asked questions about their source of income.
Secondly, the Prime Minister said, the government has also decided to bring the construction sector in the fixed-tax regime under which the rate of tax on land would be levied on the basis of per square yard and per foot.
He, however, added that those investing in the Prime Minister’s housing programme would be given 90% tax rebate and they would be required to pay just 10% of the total calculated tax amount on their projects.
The Prime Minister said that it has also been decided to waive-off withholding tax in cement and steel sectors.
Besides, he said, that in coordination with the provincial governments of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, it has also been decided to bring the sales tax in construction sector to 2% through consolidation of all taxes.
The Prime Minister further said that capital gain tax on the sale of house is also being done away with.
He also announced Rs 30 billion subsidy for Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, adding further subsidy would be given on its progress.
The Prime Minister said the government has also decided to give construction sector the status of industry. It has also been decided to establish the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to help promote the construction industry in the country, he added.
Talking to media persons on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the government’s decision taken in coordination with the provinces, is also aimed at reviving economic activities in the country, badly hit by the situation arising out of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Prime Minister said all the decisions regarding the COVID-19 are being taken in coordination with the provinces. However, he added, any of the provinces could make changes as per their requirements.
He said since the Rs 1200 billion’s stimulus package announced by the federal government to provide financial relief to the poor and daily-wagers in the wake of lockdown due to Coronavirus outbreak, the government had decided to open the construction sector.
The Prime Minister said with the agriculture sector, which is already open, providing jobs to people in villages, the opening of construction sector, the main source of employment in urban areas, was very much needed.
Meanwhile, during a visit to National Command and Operation Centre for COVID-19 here on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasised the need to render untiring efforts for effective enforcement of the decisions through National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 across the country.
The Prime Minister appreciated the establishment of the National Command and Operation Centre and progress made by it so far. He reiterated that there must be no compromise on availability of essential food items and sustainability of supply lines throughout the country.
Imran Khan stressed to prioritize the efforts and enforce the decisions of the NCOC through regular and timely meetings under the leadership of Federal Minister Asad Umer. He warned that hoarders and smugglers will be made an example.
The Prime Minister appreciated the passion and services of doctors and paramedics for serving the humanity in difficult time and unfavorable circumstances. He said the government is constantly monitoring the steps being taken by different countries to curb the coronavirus so that the best measures could be adopted according to country’s situation.
Imran Khan said the availability of correct and authentic date in the present situation is very important, warning no negligence would be tolerated about the provision of correct data.
Minister for Planning Asad Umar briefed the meeting about the steps taken regarding the economic and administrative situation in the perspective of coronavirus situation.
NDMA Chairman, Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal briefed the meeting about the availability of required medical facilities, testing kits, ventilators and other equipment, and the steps taken in this regard.
Earlier, the Prime Minister was briefed by DG Operations and Planning NCOC Major General Asif Mehmood Goraya about the latest situation of the killer disease, measures taken thus far and future course of action for containment efforts.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa was also present during the visit.
National Command and Operation Centre is nerve centre to synergize and articulate the unified national effort against COVID-19, and to implement the decisions of National Coordination Committee on it.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday thanked Facebook Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg for the support and working together for a common cause to improve the lives for millions and remarkable work her team is doing during COVID-19 pandemic.
In her message to Prime Minister Imran Khan on his official Facebook page Imran Khan (official), Sheryl Sandberg had thanked and appreciated him saying; “Thank you for your partnership. I am so glad we are working together to provide timely, accurate information and help people fight the coronavirus in Pakistan.”
In his response Prime Minister Imran Khan responded saying; “I am glad we are working for a common cause to improve lives for millions. Hope you are doing well, thank you Sheryl for your support and the remarkable work your team is doing.”
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) core committee under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan is under way in Islamabad to discuss a strategy to control the spread of coronavirus in the country.
According to sources, the meeting attended by members of the core committee at the Prime Minister House was briefed on the current economic situation of the country by federal government’s economic team.
“They mulled over the government’s decisions taken to cope up with the current situation in the aftermath of coronavirus outbreak and reviewed progress on their implementation,” they said.
The committee also held a debate on starting work at the China Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
The meeting of the ruling party also discussed the ways to move forward to achieve goals set by the government during the time of the pandemic.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated the government can’t confine 220 million people to their homes through a complete lockdown to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Meanwhile, In a tweet, the Prime Minister said the RSS-inspired leadership of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) speaks about Kashmiris in the same way as Nazis did to Jews.
such treatment is being meted out even in the 21st century towards the 200 million Muslims of India and Occupied Kashmir.
He also shared a recent video clip of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who in an interview openly spoke against Kashmiris denying their rights.
In the clip, Swamy can be seen saying that “most people in the country like their hard line approach towards Muslims”.
He also appears critical of Islamic ideology, saying, “If Muslims become 30 percent, the country would be in danger”. – TLTP, NNI

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