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Senate committee asks FBR to revoke revaluation of properties SRO


Image: File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Finance has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to revoke the recent SRO issued on the revaluation of properties and urged the officials to determine the value of immovable properties in consultation with the relevant stakeholders in 15 days.

The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee was held under the chairmanship of Senator Talha Mehmood at the Parliament House on Monday.

FBR chairman Dr Mohammed Ashfaq Ahmed said that the purpose of revised valuation notification is to get tax on the capital gains made by the investors in property business.

The system to reevaluate the properties was introduced by the previous PML-N government in 2016 and before that there was no mechanism available in the FBR to evaluate the property, he said.

Through the same law, the previous government introduced the Tax Amnesty Scheme, he said, adding that via this scheme people turned Rs350 billion of black money into white by paying only 3 per cent tax on their assets and made 71,000 transactions.

However, he said, if there are only loopholes or flaws in the revaluation process they’re willing to address it.

Senator Kamil Ali Agha expressed reservations on the revaluation of properties and said the people were already facing difficulty to meet their ends. An increase of 600 per cent to 700 per cent in property prices is totally unjustified.

Senator Saleem Mandviwala said instead of criticising the FBR, we should find a solution to it adding that the FBR should resolve this issue by keeping in mind the ground realities.

Senator Faisal Sabzwari said that they want to discourage investment through black money in this sector.

The FBR chairman floated a proposal to the committee to form a commission for the revaluation of properties.

“In our view, there is a need to establish a National Evaluation Commission and in this commission apart from the federal government, provinces should also have representation,” he said.

He said the FBR does not have sufficient resources for a comprehensive on-ground assessment of properties for valuation.

Senior officials from Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and members of other real estate organisations such as Association of Builders and Developers (Abad) informed the committee that the FBR has increased the value of properties without any due deliberation and consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

The committee chairman said the ongoing consultation process for a new mechanism, previous regulation and arrangements should be put in place so that businesses can run as usual. For all the future regulations, the FBR should provide ample time for the industry to comply and adjust their businesses accordingly.

The committee chairman also directed the officials to do due deliberation by taking onboard all the relevant stakeholders.

At the outset of the meeting, the committee members unanimously condemned the Sialkot incident and also passed the resolution, in this regard.

The committee chairman said: “These acts of extremism have no place in Islam and urged the government to build a national consensus against any such acts of aggression and violence with full severity of punishment.”

The committee unanimously commended the brave efforts of Malik Adnan and others who displayed the real spirit of Pakistan by risking their lives and to try and stop the angry mob.

The meeting was attended by senators Syed Shibli Faraz, Saleem Mandviwala, Sherry Rehman, Kamil Ali Agha, Saadia Abbasi, Syed Faisal Ali Subzwari, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, Leader of the House Dr Shahzad Waseem, senior officials from the FBR and representatives of the real estate organisations.

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