ABAD Decides to Move Court Against 2024-25 Budget

ABAD Decides to Move Court Against 2024-25 Budget

Karachi, July 2, 2024 – The Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) has announced its decision to challenge the harsh tax measures introduced in the 2024-25 budget in court.

ABAD Chairman Asif Sumsum condemned the heavy and unreasonable taxes imposed on the construction and real estate sectors, labeling the budget as highly detrimental to the industry.

In a recent statement, Chairman Sumsum expressed deep concerns over the budget’s impact on the common man, particularly regarding the affordability of housing. “It is not only difficult but impossible for the common man to build his dream house. Can you say that a house built on a plot of 60, 80, or 120 yards is a luxury?” he questioned.

Sumsum highlighted that the new tax measures have not only halted investment in the construction and real estate sectors but have also severely affected local industries related to construction, leading to potential mass unemployment. He warned that if the tax burden is not reduced, overseas Pakistanis investing in this sector may divert their investments to other countries, consequently reducing the inflow of foreign exchange.

“We had serious reservations about the budget presented in the National Assembly,” Sumsum said. “We submitted our proposals and requested the government to consider measures for improving the economy. Instead of providing relief, they imposed more taxes, which will prove to be the last nail in the coffin for the construction industry.”

The ABAD chairman criticized the imposition of up to 60% tax and a 3% Federal Excise Duty (FED) in the budget, which adds to the already existing 6-7% tax on the sale and purchase of property. “Our suggestions aimed at increasing investment and foreign exchange were ignored. We are committed to Pakistan’s development and prosperity, but our voices were not heard,” he lamented.

Sumsum emphasized the construction and real estate sectors’ critical role in the country’s economy. He noted that damaging these sectors would have adverse effects on the overall economy. “The implementation of Section 7-E has already drastically reduced remittances from overseas Pakistanis. Due to heavy taxes, it has become impossible for citizens to build their own homes, and there is already a shortage of more than one crore houses in Pakistan.”

He stressed the government’s responsibility to provide housing facilities to its citizens and argued that if the government cannot fulfill this duty, it should at least protect the construction sector. Sumsum warned that the government’s decision would lead to an increase in slums, especially in Karachi, exacerbating existing issues and potentially increasing crime rates.

The ABAD chairman called on the government and relevant authorities to withdraw the “illegally imposed” taxes on the construction sector. He specifically urged for the removal of taxes on houses built on plots of 60, 80, and 120 yards and on 1200 square feet residential flats. “Exemptions should be given to allow the country’s economy to develop, for the nation to become prosperous, and for Pakistan’s economy to rid itself of dependence on the IMF,” he concluded.