‘Package generates little activity due to bureaucratic inertia’


By Asad Cheema

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the business community and former President ICCI Shahid Rasheed Butt on Tuesday said the package announced to reboot the dormant construction sector has generated little activity due to bureaucratic inertia.
The host of fiscal, monetary and policy measures will not produce the desired impact on the economic activity as the concerned authorities in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and other cities are not cooperating with the business community to make this great move of the government a success, he said.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that a lot of people wanted to make investments in the construction sector while many sought to take full advantage of the amnesty on investments and bring their hidden money into circulation but now hopes are fading.
He said that the package supposed to immediately propel economic activity across the country is now facing resistance from the concerned officials which has frustrated the business community.
Many local businessmen and those settled abroad were willing to spend billions in the construction sector which is almost 12 percent of the GDP but now they have started to back off as they view circumstances as unfavourable, he informed.
He noted that some builders are of the view that amnesty given on fresh investments in real estate provided an opportunity to the people to legalise their existing holdings through new purchases to reverse the extreme slowdown but it is not working.
The business leader informed that efforts to document the economy sucked a large portion of liquidity out of the economy that the package aimed to bring back through sweeping tax incentives, waivers and subsidies and the fixed-tax regime. The government also upgraded the construction sector to industry status to facilitate builders and developers to obtain bank loans at the rate of seven per cent but it will only beneficial if they are allowed to work, he noted.
The construction package that was supposed to restart the construction activities across the country has so far failed to achieve the desired objective therefore the top government functionaries should immediately intervene to improve the situation to attract investment and provide jobs to millions, he demanded.