KARACHI - The housing and construction sector is the backbone of the countrys economy and the government will leave no stone unturned to provide support to ABAD while it will also ensure that the proposals of ABAD are included in the next federal budget. Fauzia Wahab, Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Finance and Revenue expressed the views while addressing members of the Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan here at ABAD House on Monday. ABAD Chairman Engr Farooquz Zaman Khan, Vice Chairman Muhammad Arif Siddiq, Chairman (Sindh Balochistan Region) Saleem Kassim Patel, former Chairman Hafeezur Rehman Butt and Firdous Shamim Naqvi also spoke on the occasion. Fauzia Wahab claimed that the PPP government would not shy away from its commitment of constructing a million homes for the poor across the country. She said that the ABAD would be taken on board to achieve this milestone. Fauzia Wahab deplored the role of HBFC, saying that disbursement of a comparatively small amount of 700 million in 2009 was a reason to worry about. She ensured that a meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue of the National Assembly would be called during the next week and both ABAD and HBFC officials would be invited to it. The PPP stalwart said it was imperative to increase the tax to GDP ratio to raise the standards of living of the masses. The country cannot be run with only 1.7 million taxpayers in the tax net, she pointed out, adding that whoever belonging to the taxable income group, would be brought to the tax net. Fauzia Wahab said the government would ensure that ABAD plays its due role and the suggestions from this important organization are made part of the federal budget. She said that efforts would be made to provide relief to lower income group on the issue of CVT. The ABAD chairman gave an account of the impediments faced by members of the body. He elaborated that ABAD would full back the efforts of the government on construction of low cost housing provided that the government should serious thought to the solution of the problems. The unhindered financing will be a catalyst to increased construction activities. The share of housing and construction sector in the GDP is only 2.4% and if the government provides preferential remedies this sector will be instrumental in the revival of the economy. He assured that ABAD would be in the forefront in making the low cost housing initiative of the government a success. On the occasion, Farooquz Zaman pointed out the poor performance of HBFC, saying the disbursement had plummeted to a very annoying level. Instead of playing its mandatory role of providing financing facilities to the lower and middle income groups, the management is laying emphasis on construction of buildings on its plots. On the issue of CVT, the ABAD chairman said that despite opposition from the Law Ministry, the FBR has issued notification for the imposition of CVT thus abolishing the exemption from flats below 1500 Sq. Ft and plots of 120 Sq. Yds. This tax is only being levied in Karachi and Sindh.