Taxing the idle

Thursday, Jun 23, 2022

Pakistan’s finance minister has said that empty plots of land where possession can be taken from the housing societies concerned are going to be taxed. This will be disastrous for the real-estate market of the country. Long-term investors who keep such plots are mostly overseas Pakistanis who build their residential houses on their plots to have a safe home when they finally return home. This arrangement makes perfect economic sense.

Now the finance minister has announced that such idle plots will be taxed. This will create a difficult situation for overseas Pakistanis who have already made huge investments in Pakistan’s real-estate market with their hard-earned foreign earnings, and it is not easy for them to return to the country to start construction work on their plots. The government is requested to reconsider the proposal to tax idle and empty plots because this will discourage investment in the real-estate sector, which will result in a loss of tax revenue for the government instead of increasing the tax revenue from the country’s real-estate sector.

Ejaz Ahmad Magoon (FCA)

Doha, Qatar