ISLAMABAD -Prominent economists, experts and associations Saturday hailed the concessional package, announced by the government, for construction industry through amendments in the Income Tax Ordinance (2001) to provide tax relaxation to the builders and developers in the existing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“In the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, when whole global economy is in recession, the government has taken good steps to open construction industry by providing it concessions and tax relations,” Executive Director, SDPI, Islamabad and member Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and member National Advisory Committee of Planning Commission of Pakistan Dr Abid Suleri told APP here.

He said that he could see long term effects of this pragmatic decision and said that in recent situation, it would uplift investments in property and construction sector and re-open huge potential for new investment.

He said that ultimate impact of these tax relaxations would leave good impact on the construction industry, which not only open up opportunities but also activate the circle of 70 others allied industries.

He, however, said that in the current situation, there was need to ensure transport and labour availability for the construction industry while safety of labour force at work place could also be a challenging task.

Sulari said that this was takeoff time for construction industry, hence needed a comprehensive strategy to get more benefits from this government tax relief package.

Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Development Economic (PIDE), Dr. Nadeem ul Haque also lauded the current tax relaxation to the construction industry and said this would promote market liberalization in this sector.

The market regulation and liberalization would help promote growth in construction industry, he said, adding that this would give opportunity to the new investment and job opportunity in this sector.

The VC, PIDE said that the construction industry needed more tax liberalization to compete to other competitors in region and create more employment opportunity in country’s economy.

He said that construction of high rise building and other big projects would also promote growth and investment.

Renowned economist and former chairman Baluchistan Board of Investment, Dr Kaiser Bengali said that this ordinance would not only help recover old investment but also provide new employment opportunities in the country.

He said that small housing scheme for middle class would be better option to get benefits from this tax relation given by the government and also expected growth in country’s economy.

He said that the government also provided finance flexibility to the low income people for building their own houses.

While representing the construction industry, Chairman Association of Builder and Developers (ABAD) Mohsin Seikhani lauded the government’s package for construction industry and said that government had already declared the sector as an industry as it had huge demand of up to 70 associated industries.

He said that now the construction sector acquired the status of industry which would add the positive impact in country’s economic health and also enhance economic growth.

While the chairman ABAD termed the recent package announced by the government after the approval of federal cabinet for construction sector as historic, saying it would prove a turning point for the economy.

Mohsin said that said that ABAD was demanding incentives for the construction sector because more than 70 allied industries were dependent on it.

“We are indebted to Prime Minister for reviving construction industry and give this status for the revival of the sector,” he said.

ABAD, he said, also requested the prime minister to announce a universal policy for approval of building plans throughout the country so that builders and developers could start construction as early as possible.

Mohsin also praise the government comprehensive strategy plans for addressing the local industrial sector issues after evolving the coronavirus pandemic.

Chairman All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, Azam Faruque appreciated the decision of the government saying that “we would get indirect benefits from the recent Prime Minister economic package as our other allied industry will have direct benefit of this.”

He said that in current challenging situation, when whole global economy was in slowdown mode, Pakistan had huge opportunity to choose better option to come out of this crisis.

Chairman Pakistan Iron and steel Merchant Association, Tariq Irshad said that construction industry was considered the backbone of any economy, which generated the huge employment opportunities.

He said that in current situation of COVID- 19, construction industry would play role of catalyst for the country’s economy to increase the economic growth.

He further said that because of recent announced package by the PTI-government, new investors would also invest in the industry and play due role to revive the local economy.

Chairman All Pakistan Marble Industries Association, Noman Baqi Siddiqui also welcomed the government decision, saying that in this critical situation, the initiative would not only benefit the construction sector but to the whole economy.