Irrespective of the location, the value of land can
never be overestimated. But in case of the lands alongside the B-R-B
canal adjacent to Waga border in Lahore, there is a surprising story.
The lands near to border between India and Pakistan were the cheapest
in value because of mounting border tensions between the two
countries. However the situation has taken an amazing turn with the
ever-increasing prices of the lands in Lahore region as well as across
the border from Atari to Amritsar.
The sudden jump in prices both in Pakistan and
India alongside the border is being taken as a strange development
because the land adjacent to the borders was the least sought after
land having the cheapest price obviously due to its exposure to the
war threats between the two countries.
However, contrary to the past record, the value has
jumped from rupees one lakh per acre to Rs5-7 lakh per acre during a
short span of time in that area. The sudden increase in demand of land
has proved to be a windfall for the habitants who are expecting that
the price may go even beyond Rs25 lakh per acre if the current trend
prevails in future also.According to reports, the increase in the
value of lands was not confined within Pakistan, the similarly trend
of booming prices has caught the people by surprise in Amritsar as
Experts dealing in the real estate business have
attributed the price boom to the following reasons:
None-resident Pakistanis belonging to that particular area have
started coming back. They are buying the land at the asking price.
increase in the home remittances which according to a report have
touched to $71 billion last year in South Asian region. Pakistan had
received over $4.23 billion during the fiscal 2002-03 which is
unprecedented in the history of this country.
opinion on the situation is that it is the speculative buying by the
business community with anticipation that large-scale bilateral trade
between India and Pakistan would follow the enforcement of WTO rules
allowing free trade in 2005 which seems very close to the fact.
Currently, efforts are being made for normalizing
the bilateral relations between the two countries which might have
encouraged the investors to buy land near border areas for building
ware houses or industrial units to optimize their benefits.
The World Bank Chief Economist, Nicholas Stern has
recently said that improved relations between Pakistan and India would
lead to improvement in the economy, greater stability and increased
business confidence in South Asia.
Current account balance has posted surplus in
Pakistan and India, benefits are accruing for Pakistan and Sri Lanka
for improved security situation and enhanced government revenue would
help boost growth in the region.
Speaking at the launch of World Bank's report on
"Global Economic Prospects 2004, Registering the promise of the
Doha agenda projects" the World Bank economist was of the opinion
that rich countries have to lead by cutting high manufacturing tariff
and by expending access to affordable medicines. The report emphasized
that the developed world to reduce their subsidies, especially on
agriculture. Developed counties must also provide technical assistance
to developing countries.
According to the report South Asia pays 8 per cent
taxes on its exports to industrialized countries that charge only one
percent from other industrialist countries on their exports.
Exports from the region are declining and imports
of manufactured goods are increasing. Textile wearing apparels and
leather goods represented 46 per cent of the total pie in 1997, from
27 per cent in 1987.
The WTO agreement would generate $200 billion to
$520 billion income for both rich and poor countries lifting an
additional 144 million people out of poverty by 2015, which would
encompass larger proposition of Africa and South Asia.
South Asia would be amongst the best performing
regions, touching 4.6-5.4 per cent of GDP growth in next ten years,
with East Asia 6 per cent, Middle East 3.5 per cent and others 3 per
Growth in South Asia would accelerate to 5.4 per
cent in 2003 achieving normal agriculture production a recovery in
external trade and continued improvements in political stability and
regional security. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are expected to
benefit from continued growth of services sector. Remittances have
increased substantially during 2002 in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and
Sri Lanka in 2001. Almost $71 billion remittances reached developing
world — 40 percent of all the official developing assistance. If
temporary of the labor is allowed up to 3 per cent of the total labor
force, developing countries would be in a position to earn $160
billion additional income.
This positive forecast about the state of economy
in South Asia Region seems to have generated a lot of interest among
the investors to make fortune by purchasing cheaper land alongside the