Protesting realtors warn of blocking Islamabad’s main arteries on Dec 10

ISLAMABAD (Faisal Azfar Alvi): Real estate developers and builders have criticised the recent property valuation by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and threatened to hold protests at Faizabad and Islamabad Expressway against it on Dec 10.

The Federation of Realtors Pakistan and the Islamabad Estate Agents Association president, Sardar Tahir Mehmood, said it seemed the FBR was bent upon abolishing the construction package announced by the government.

Addressing a press conference at the National Press Club, he said the tax collecting body was causing financial damage to the real estate sector.

“These rates have been revised without consulting the stakeholders, which is totally unrealistic. The rates have been revised by non-professional FBR officers who are not aware of ground realities,” Mr Mehmood said.

Reject FBR’s new property valuation, say board bent upon abolishing govt’s construction package

He added that this was a conspiracy to thwart the vision of the prime minister to boost the construction industry.

Other speakers at the news conference said the book value of property rates in Islamabad had been jacked manifolds only in Islamabad, making it difficult for the buyers to register new property in their names.

There was more than 283 per cent increase in the property rates for F-7 sector against the 2019 property valuation while more than 164pc increase has been made for E-7 and over 163pc for E-11 etc.

Chairman of the association Musarat Ijaz said there were incompetent people in FBR who did not even know the basics of real estate business and its valuation.

“Now they want to teach us?” he said, adding when the book value of property was raised in 2019, the FBR team sat down with the stakeholders and made a consensus decision.

“If the government did not take the decision back, there will be a nationwide protest on Dec 10,” he added.

The members announced that they will not only bring around 2,000 people for a sit-in at Faizabad but the real estate consultants will also block the expressway along with Srinagar Highway.

General Secretary of the association Ahsan Malik said the real estate sector consisted of many subsectors, including consultants, commission agents, builders, developers and even material suppliers.

“This new value table has created a serious business crisis for all the stakeholders and the FBR must withdraw its SRO immediately as all the property businesses and transfers have been put on hold due to it,” Mr Malik added.

Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Shakeel Munir and others later held a protest demonstration against the new valuation outside the press club.

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