FBR’s SRO to affect business activities, says President ICCI

By Asad Cheema

ISLAMABAD: President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan has expressed concerns over the SRO 924(I)/2020 issued by FBR on September 30, 2020 in order to regulate the businesses of real estate agents, accountants and jewelers to comply with the conditions of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), however, he said that the said SRO would affect the growth of business activities, especially in
real estate sector and foil the objectives of PM’s construction package.
He said this while talking to a delegation of real estate sector that called on him led by Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi former President ICCI. Mehmood Ahmed Warraich, Tariq Nusrat Wani and Zarif Ahmed Khan were in the delegation.
Abdul Rehman Khan, Vice President ICCI was also present at the occasion. The delegation congratulated Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan on assuming the Presidency of ICCI and discussed with him the implications of SRO-924 on the business activities of real estate sector.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that bringing Pakistan out of FATF grey list was very important for its economy and business community was ready to cooperate with the government to achieve this goal. However, he said that
before issuing any SRO, FBR should consult with the stakeholders to address their genuine concerns and save them from unnecessary problems. He said that making regulations for businesses unilaterally without consulting the stakeholders always created difficulties for genuine business people and this approach should be avoided at all cost.
ICCI President said that the economy of Pakistan was struggling for revival from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and it was high time that government should take measures to promote ease of doing business and provide maximum facilitation to businessmen. However, issuing SROs like 924 to over-regulate some businesses would prove counterproductive.
He said that consistency in policies was the key requirement for long-term business planning while the frequent changes in policies would defeat all efforts of business community to promote business activities smoothly. He
stressed that FBR should take real estate agents, accountants and jewelers fully into confidence before implementing said SRO in order to address their genuine concerns so that this move may not create hurdles in economic activity.
Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi, former President ICCI and other members of delegation said that PM construction package was aimed at attracting hidden money into the formal economy and had created lot of hope for economic revival, but SRO 924 would discourage potential investors and would squeeze the business activities of real estate sector. They said that growth of over 50 allied industries was linked with construction industry and government should facilitate growth of this important industry instead of making rules that would choke its development and growth.