LAHORE - Constructors Association of Pakistan (CAP) has called for exempting the import of construction equipment, machinery and formworks system including plywood for formwork from advance sales tax @ 17 percent and Additional Sales Tax @ 3 percent.

CAP Chairman Engr Kamal Nasir Khan made this demand in the budget proposals for year 2018-19 submitted to the Federal Board of Revenue.

He said that the construction sector plays a major role in the economic development and uplift of a country. It is an important employment generating industry and offering job opportunities to millions of skilled and unskilled labor forces. In fact, it is the second largest sector, after agriculture, in creating employment.

He said construction was declared an industry by the government in 1999 but unfortunately not given the status of industry over the years. Consequently, the SMEs could not develop and major construction projects are being executed by foreign companies at much higher rates.

To enhance the capacity of the construction industry of Pakistan, induction of latest and good condition construction machinery and equipment is the foremost requirement.

Kamal Nasir said import of construction equipment, machinery and formwork systems including plywood for formwork should be exempted from the levy of advance sales tax and additional sales tax.

This exemption may only be granted for an initial period of 3 years to enable the capacity enhancement of local construction industry, he proposed.