ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday inaugurated the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (ICCI) Property, Housing and Construction Expo 2021 in the federal capital.
Addressing the launching ceremony, the Prime Minister called upon the nation to pay taxes, if they wish to see the country prosper. “You must pay taxes so we can improve the infrastructure and fulfil your basic needs such as education, health, good roads, electricity,” he stressed.
The premier regretted that the people do not do so and then demand facilities, “like having done no good deeds and still desiring to go to heaven”. “Pay taxes so the wealth of the country can increase,” he reiterated.
He pointed out that the construction sector was the biggest provider of job opportunities because it had numerous industries attached to it. “This is one way of providing employment, wealth creation, increasing revenues to meet expenses and repaying loans,” he added.
PM Imran also called upon the construction sector to fully try and depend less on imports, saying that “all raw material is available in Pakistan.” “I assure you that we will fully help you. It is the government’s job to manufacture more things in Pakistan,” he added.
“A construction boom was coming to the country due to the great demand by the 220 million people for low-cost housing,” the premier asserted. He lamented that the common man, daily wager or government servants never had the opportunity in the past to build their homes because of a lack of mortgage-financing options.
“Now, banks will give money to people for mortgage financing and then this population of 220m of ours will become an asset because it will generate demand and then construction and related industries will start running,” he added.
The Prime Minister told the attendees that he had called the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to gain concessions for the construction industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said many meetings had been held to remove obstacles for the construction industry and while they hadn’t been eliminated fully, there were more incentives for the industry than before and the government would continue increasing them.
Referring to the problems with Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), he said the government was “continuously trying to bring reforms” in the body, pointing out that Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin hailed from the private sector and was familiar with its issues.
He said the true potential of Pakistan’s population would be realised when the industry, particularly the export industry, was encouraged. “It is necessary that we help ourselves, facilitate you and the government creates ease of doing business for you but then you too help the government by paying tax,” he emphasised.