The increase in property valuations by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is totally excessive and unacceptable, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Chairman Nadeem Rauf has said.
“The review of the market value of real estate in 40 major cities of Pakistan by the Federal Board of Revenue is tantamount to shutting down the country’s economy and suspending business activities,” the RCCI chairman said in a statement on Friday. Rauf lamented that thanks to a Statutory Residual Order (SRO), the value of the property increased by 100-600%.
As a result of the proposed increase in taxes and assessment, home registration values could increase fivefold. Given the changing policies, he asked the government how traders can run their own businesses and set up factories in Pakistan. Citing that the chamber had always called for laws to be developed after extensive consultation with stakeholders, he regretted that RCCI had not been considered prior to OAR approval, he said.
According to Rauf, FBR’s decision was against the current government’s Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme project. Pointing out that the cost of building materials was rising, he said the prices of cement, bricks and sanitary materials had tripled over the past year. “The implementation of the proposed SRO will affect the construction industry,” he added.
The business world has been hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, he said and urged the government to take immediate notice of rising property values. According to Rauf, FBR took this step to improve tax collection, but the realities on the ground were quite different. According to data from FBR, its revenue in the first quarter exceeded the target.