Islamabad: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan today (April 03) announced the government’s decision to open the construction sector from April 14 to facilitate the country’s informal labour demographic; in addition to debuting what he termed a ‘historic’ relief package for the industry, according to news sources.
Details of the incentive package announced for the construction sector:
- Those investing in the construction sector in 2020 will not be questioned about their sources of income,
- A fixed tax regime will be implemented on ‘per square yard’ and ‘per square feet’ bases for the construction sector,
- For Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) constructions, tax impositions will be slashed by 90%,
- Withholding tax will be waived off for all construction companies; except those involved in steel and cement-related ventures,
- PKR 30 billion in subsidy for NPHP; Capital Gains Tax (CGT) will be waived for families selling their houses,
- Construction sector to be given ‘Industry Status’; a ‘Construction Industry Development Board’ will be developed to regularize its workings
The PM stressed that the ongoing nationwide lockdown against the coronavirus pandemic was causing massive disruptions to the economy; while adversely affecting the country’s labour class (many members of which had succumbed to unemployment).
He further added that the government was unable to track all of the country’s unemployed cadres – seeing as 80% of informal labourers remained unregistered.
The premiere, while responding to a reporter’s query, acceded that the sector’s allied industries would also need to be opened to facilitate its proper functioning; adding that the government aimed to reboot the economy slowly – and with ‘wisdom’