Government Reduces Taxes to Speed Up the Process of Low-Cost Housing Project

Karachi: The Government of Pakistan has been working hard to cater to the needs of the underprivileged section of the society for the past few years. In order to quickly achieve the target, the authorities have set separate goals to bring a positive change into their lives.

The government aims to improve their lifestyle by providing them with affordable houses and free-of-cost healthcare. This endeavour would not only improve the livelihood of a poor man, but also keep the construction and related industries active and running.

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Owing to the pandemic that broke in the year 2020, Pakistan’s construction has already suffered a lot and the functions have slowed down. However, it is slowly moving to recovery and the aim of building low-cost houses under the ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme’ could not be derailed.

The State Bank of Pakistan has set specific lending targets for the commercial banks to lend for the housing and construction sector. The government has also reduced the tax rate for the sector, as well as on low-cost housing units. Not to mention, there are policies and laws already in order to support the housing projects.

In one of his recent visits to Sargodha, the Prime Minister also announced the inauguration of Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme in Sargodha. He said and we quote, “To help materialise low-income strata’s dream of owning a home, the PM will initiate another low-cost housing project under the umbrella of Naya Pakistan Housing”.

In the inauguration ceremony of a low-cost housing scheme for workers in Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “No one thought about making this a priority and providing houses to those who cannot afford their own residences”.

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He also added that these promises of the 1,500 houses have been pending for the past 25 years. After the award of subsidy on these houses, would lower the prices of these houses by PKR 1.8 million, which means that the lower class would be able to pay the monthly installments equal to their monthly rent. 

The federal government has similar projects planned, in collaboration with the government of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan, with the Punjab government planning projects in 26 tehsils. The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has announced a similar project of 4,000 apartments at the price of PKR 1.4 million each. 

“The public and private sectors have chalked out new housing and construction schemes worth over a trillion rupees for this year”, said Hasan Bakhsi, as member of Prime Minister’s Task Force on Housing. He further added, “This would not only supply affordable houses to the people but also gear up output in the related industries”

He implied that the government might remove the condition of buying homes to be built in one year.  With this project the government intends to launch a low-cost housing project of 750-square feet each at a price of PKR 2.7 million – their current market price is PKR 4.5 million.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has been working hard to deliver five million houses to low income groups before the end of his five year tenure. As per the reports, PM Khan chairs a meeting of the committee every week to fasten up the housing scheme.

Meetings regarding the project also take place at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA), with the objective to the progress of the meetings and resolve any issues, if any.

With the aim to reduce the cost and increase the speed of the process, the administration has decided to reduce the income tax on import of construction machinery from 6 percent to 2 percent, along with reducing the rate on sales tax on such imports. 

The Government aims to complete the construction of low-cost housing schemes by the end of their tenure and provide the lower class individuals with improved livelihoods.  

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