SYED JAMSHED RIZVI
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Aug 13 - 19, 2001
Engineer Syed Jamshed Ali Rizvi, is the Chairman of
Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD). Jamshed is also the
Managing Director of Rizvi Builders, which is a respected name in the
construction industry. His company developed a number of prestigious
housing and commercial complexes including Mehboob Heights, Mehboob
Corner, Mehboob Terrace, Mehboob Park View, Mehboob Arcade, Mehboob
Apartment and Gulshan-e-Ali.
The credibility he earned in his profession was duly
acknowledged when he was nominated as the member for the Prime
Minister's Committee for Construction sector. He was also elected
Chairman of ABAD for the period of 1998-99. He secured his degree in
civil engineering from NED University Karachi. He was also elected as
the chairman of Pakistan Engineering Council for the second term in
2000. He represented Pakistan in the first Stone Convention and
International Marble and Machinery Exhibition held in Italy.
PAGE: Your term as the Chairman ABAD is about
to end as the next elections are due next week. Would you like to
highlight what did you achieve during the whole year.
JAMSHED: Representatives of housing and
construction industry were making efforts through the platform of ABAD
to get the status of industry to the housing sector in Pakistan. Credit
goes to the current team of ABAD representatives that the goal has been
successfully achieved as the government has recently placed the housing
sector in the category of industry. By virtue of this status, the
housing sector will be eligible to all benefits available to other
industrial sectors. The benefits the housing sector will get after being
declared as the industry will be exemption in taxes; incentive in the
form of reduced import duty on raw materials, availability of financing
facility from the banking sector. The government has issued notification
and SRO in this respect and the housing sector has become an industry,
which we take as a great success for the housing and construction
PAGE: As a result of these incentives the
housing sector will get after being declared as an industry and the
housing policy announced by the government what benefits will be accrued
to the people or customers in the housing sector?
JAMSHED: ABAD has always tried to protect the
interest of the people and have suggested various measures in the
interest of the people. For example, ABAD had recommended to the
government that levy of non-utilization fee on the vacant plot of land
was not justified. As a result of the strong plea of ABAD supported by
practical statistics, the government convinced and has decided that
non-utilization fee will only be levied on such schemes which have been
transferred from Development Authorities to the Municipal Organization
after completion of the development work. As a result of this step, the
non-utilization fee cannot be applied on such schemes where development
work has not been completed. The non-completion of the development work
is the main cause for non-utilization of the land, he said.
PAGE: What measures have been taken for the
revival of the housing and construction sector, which is passing through
the worst crisis of its history?
JAMSHED: The government in the housing policy
has accepted the recommendations moved by ABAD and the economic
activities in this important sector are likely to take off again. For
example, the government has agreed to replace the large number of taxes
by introducing one per cent presumptive tax, which would greatly help
the builders to concentrate on their business instead of being entangled
into complex taxation system.
Other important suggestions of ABAD are reduction in
stamp duty and registration fee at the level of one per cent of the
total cost of the project. The EOBI, Education Cess, Social Security and
Professional tax would now be received through one window operation.
Under the new housing policy all commercial banks and DFIs have been
asked to provide financing for Balancing-Modernization-Replacement (BMR).
This BMR facility would be great significance when this industry will
move towards hi-rise construction.
It is for the first time that the housing industry
has been allowed to import all required plants, machinery and
accessories at 10 per cent duty. This incentive would naturally lead for
enhanced economic activity in this sector and the allied industries. The
Excise duty and Sales Tax at cement and iron bars, the basic raw
materials for house building, have been reduced considerably. Another
important step is the reduction in property tax from 25 per cent to 5
per cent this would also help creating a tax culture in this sector.
Another major step in the policy announced by the government is that the
developers would be provided land at cheaper rates for the construction
of low cost housing at an affordable price for the poor and low-income
The members of ABAD have been allowed to pay
non-utilization fee on the basis of occupancy value, which is a great
success for the industry. This means that the non-utilization fee would
be paid only when the land or house is occupied and not from the time of
purchase of allotment.