LAHORE - The real estate sector on Monday staged a protest demonstration against the federal government over imposition of heavy taxation on transfer of land.

Thousands of protesters, representing different dealers and property agents association of the city, launched a protest rally from DHA which concluded on The Mall. Different associations including DHA Real Estate Agents Association, Johar Town Property Dealers Association, EME Colony Property Dealers Association, Bahria Town All Property Dealers Association, Raiwind Road and Mohlanwal Property Dealers Association participated in the protest.

The protesters chanted slogans against the government, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Federal Board of Revenue. While addressing the protest near Faisal roundabout, the speakers said that the government should withdraw heavy taxes imposed on the real estate after July 01, 2016 and tax slab should be restored at the level of 30th June that would help revival of this vibrant sector. They demanded that as like stock exchange, investors of real estate should be given amnesty so that buyers of property could easily show the sources. Federal govt and provinces should collect tax at same valuation table and Federal Board of Revenue should adopt DC rate with an increase of 10 percent, they demanded.

The speakers said that real estate is a dynamic sector and has the ability to attract huge foreign investment but because of adverse policies and heavy taxation, it is facing catastrophe-like circumstances and struggling for survival.

DHA Real Estate Agents Association president Major (retired) Rafiq Hasrat said that real estate sector is the second largest job provider and its crisis would lead to the unemployment.

He said that transactions in real estate sectors have been fallen by around 90 percent. If the government withdraws taxes from real estate sector, it would enhance government’s revenue as number of transactions would be increased. He said that the government cannot achieve its economic targets without due support of the property sector.

RECA asks govt to suspend property tax PR from Islamabad: All property dealers and real estate consultants from all over the country have unanimously demanded the government to immediately suspend the unjustified, excessive and unilateral property tax imposed this year, otherwise they would resort to countrywide protests, said Real Estate Consultants Association (RECA), DHA Islamabad General Secretary Ahsan Malik in a press .

Malik said that they wanted to give tax but the property tax imposed from July 1 was highly unjustified, excessive and unilateral and even the system was not transparent. “The property dealers fear that the measures adopted by the government would lead to corruption and nepotism in addition to depriving the legitimate income to the thousands of dealers involved in the business,” he said.

The association’s general secretary said that all investment in property business had been totally finished due this unjustified property tax, and now this investment was now going to other countries especially UAE. He said that this would also hurt the economic situation in Pakistan, and thousands of people would become jobless.

Ahsan Malik said that the government should consult the property dealers and real estate consultants before imposing any such tax. He said that they were businessmen and were against protests, but the government had left them with no other option.