ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday announced an incentivized package for the construction industry in order to increase employment opportunities in the country in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

Announcing the package in Islamabad on Friday, he said those who invest in the sector will not be asked questions about their source of income.

The Prime Minister said fixed tax will be introduced in construction sector and if the investor invests in construction projects under Naya Pakistan Housing Authority, ninety percent fixed tax will be removed and he will have to pay only ten percent tax.

He said withholding tax on construction will be lifted from all sectors, except steel and cement. Imran Khan said sales tax is also being brought down in coordination with the provinces. The Prime Minister said there will be no capital gain tax for a family that sells its house.

He said a subsidy of thirty billion rupees is being given to Naya Pakistan Housing project to spur the construction activities. The Prime Minister said a Construction Industry Development Board is also being set up to promote the construction industry. Imran Khan said a unified national response will help address the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic.

90 percent fixed tax will be removed in construction projects under Naya Pakistan Housing Authority

He said work in construction sector will start from 14th of this month. He said coronavirus has become a global challenge however its impacts are different in Pakistan in comparison with the West. He said we are facing dual challenge of corona as well as hunger.

The Prime Minister said lockdown will be successful only when it will be fully implemented across the country. He said agriculture and construction are two major employing sectors in the country and a lot of people are associated with these.

The Prime Minister said a Construction Industry Development Board is also being set up to promote the construction industry. Imran Khan said the government’s concern to open up the construction sector is to facilitate the daily wagers. He said that the government is also making a strategy for those who cannot afford to pay house rent. He said the construction industry is the second largest sector in the country which provides employment to the people.

 

He said that the government wants to create a balance between maintaining a lockdown and keeping the construction sector running to save people from hunger and poverty. Imran Khan said a unified national response will help address the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic, adding that work in construction sector will start from April 14. Regarding coronavirus situation in Pakistan, Imran said, “It is a dangerous perception that people in Pakistan are immune to the coronavirus. We have to take preventive measures to deal with the pandemic.”

 

He said the coronavirus has become a challenge for the whole world. Imran Khan pointed out the government cannot “lock up 220 million people” through a harsh curfew to control the spread of Covid-19.

“We are facing dual challenge of corona as well as hunger”, Prime Minister said, adding that lockdown will be successful only when it will be fully implemented across the country. He said agriculture and construction are two major employing sectors in the country and a lot of people are associated with these sectors. The Prime Minister said that so far, 10 million people have applied for support through relief fund he has established earlier this week.

 

On the occasion, Advisor to PM on Finance Hafeez Sheikh said the government has allocated Rs200 billion for those who have lost their jobs or facing income issues during the coronavirus crisis. He said a mechanism is being formulated to ensure that funds are provided to the most deserving segments of the society. He said those who invest in the sector will not be asked questions about their source of income.