The present government has completed its second year with claims of success and is putting the country on the right path. The statements of PM Khan’s triumph seem like a rejuvenated media projection strategy of this government, which is imperative for PTI in the backdrop of severe criticism from opposition and the public alike for not delivering.

In all honesty, the last two years were economically very tough for the Pakistani nation, almost everyone felt the brunt of the price hike and non-friendly business policies of the government. If truth be told, there are still not many indicators which suggest the success of the present government as claimed by people at the helm of affairs.

There is a lot to criticise, point out and correct regarding the functioning and execution of PM Khan’s government, but it would be unfair not to mention the good things this government has done so far. The best being its bid to revive the construction industry. In principle, it was a very smart move by the government to focus on the construction industry and its allied businesses by giving them incentives, concessions and facilitating them so that this industry starts rolling and economic stalemate is reversed.

The above initiative was welcomed specially by those who were directly involved with the industry and also by the ones who were indirectly related to it. This government has made it a priority to revive and invest upon the construction and allied businesses by introducing Fixed Tax Regime (FTR) on income and sales tax as an incentive for builders.

All the steps provided considerable incentives and relief to the stakeholders and are much appreciated but at the same time a glitch in the form of increased DC rates up to 15 percent discouraged the builders and was totally in contradiction to the relief provided to the industry.

The creation of “Khidmat Foundation” initiative, which will provide a one-window operation to facilitate the builders throughout the Punjab is another good idea to make this initiative a success. However, it is pertinent to mention here that different development authorities in Punjab had different bylaws and the government very rightly took a step to introduce a uniform policy for all development authorities in the Punjab. For instance, a decision in principle was made by the government to implement the bylaws of LDA on other development authorities like RDA, FDA, GDA, MDA etc. after improvement in building and zoning bylaws of LDA to achieve uniform bylaws for all authorities throughout Punjab. Similarly, it was also proposed that the revised Punjab Private Housing Schemes and Land Subdivision Rules should also be adopted uniformly in all the authorities.

Unfortunately, the revised Punjab Private Housing Schemes and Land Sub-division Rules has not been enforced yet and all the development authorities and builders are anxiously awaiting the implementation of this policy. In fact, the delay in its prompt adoption is a big discouraging factor for the builder which will result in the reduction of tax collection for the next quarter.

The government should take immediate steps to provide relief and remove all the contradictions and discrepancies pertaining to this policy mentioned above so that it is able to meet the tax collection and revenue generation targets it has conceived. If all the proposed ideas are enforced in letter and spirit, it will definitely prove to be something tangible for this government to take real credit for.

Chaudhry M Faraz,