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Builders and developers to register with FBR by December 31

Builders and developers to register with FBR by December 31

KARACHI: Builders and developers who avail the enticing package offered by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the construction industry have to register with the FBR by December 31, 2020.

While appearing before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, FBR officials said builders and developers will be registered with it before December 31, 2020 and will also have to come to the FBR with the approved map.

The committee asked for suggestions from the members regarding the construction industry package.

The package offered to the industry was well received by the industry players. It includes that investors and first-time buyers of housing units will not be asked about their money trail.

Former Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) chairman Muhammad Hassan Bakshi predicted 75% of the industry will register with the FBR to avail the package.

Bakshi said the remaining quarter of the industry will be those who have ongoing projects that are near completion. They have already incurred their tax cost under the conventional method so they would not be paying again. This is an optional package and builders can opt to operate under conventional taxation.

Bakshi said that under the new system and package, builders will directly be registering their projects on the government’s portal and will therefore be able to avoid bureaucratic hurdles and under the table deals.

“Most of us don’t want to evade taxes and now there will be a way to do it cleanly. I think no one will want to avoid this,” Bakshi added.

He added that the FATF also demands documentation and it’s not just an effort to increase taxes.

However, he didn’t discard the probability that provincial authorities may hinder the federal government’s aspirations to revive economy through the construction sector.

“This is a plan of national importance and everyone should support it as it will benefit Pakistan and also help revive the economy with hopes that there are no more spikes in COVID-19 cases. If someone tries to hinder it, it would be unfortunate,” he said.

There has been friction between the federal and Sindh governments. Sindh, the second largest province by population, is the only province where the PTI or an allied party is not in power. The construction industry has in the past faced problems including ambiguity in provincial and city authorities, especially in Karachi.