The real estate sector has voiced vociferous concerns about setbacks to investments in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s priority construction industry due to engineered inspections of offices of the property dealers, developers, and investors by authorities of Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (DNFBPs). Muhammad Ahsan Malik, Vice President, (Punjab) Federation of Realtors (FOR) and General Secretary of the Real Estate Consultants Association (RECA) addressing a press conference on Monday voiced concerns that the director-general of DNFBPs had planned to inspect the offices of developers, builders and jewelers soon after budget (2021-22), which, he said, would create panic and undue harassment in the real estate market.
Mr. Malik who is also the convener of the FPCCI Committee on the Real Estate Sector expressed similar views that the developers and property dealers had been issued 20,000 notices for compliance under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010. The inquiries for all these, developers and builders, and jewelers are the same despite their businesses being totally different from each other and included substantial compliance costs that added to the dismay of these businessmen. Furthermore, he further elaborated that it was difficult to suddenly show compliance with all kinds of laws, conditions, and legal requirements including the hiring of chartered accounts and specialized consultants. also, he expressed surprise and displeasure that it was beyond imagination how a property dealer, for example, could check the sources of income of a client even before a sale-purchase deal is finalized when such information may not even be accessible from banks and National Data and Registration Authority (Nadra).
he added The Directorate General of DNFBPs in collaboration with the team of the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation Inland Revenue would conduct raids from 11 June at the offices of the developers, dealers, and jewelers. This act would not serve any good and further panic the national and international investors in this sector. Mr. Malik expressed displeasure that it was very strange that the prime minister had announced an amnesty scheme for the construction sector along with an incentive package to trigger activities in 40 industries associated with construction but small businesses like property dealers have been kept out of the deliberation and are being made to comply with technical and investigative nature of the information that puts stumbling blocks on their way. He recommended having separate laws and compliance criteria for each category keeping in view their mode of business.
Additionally, he asserted that the legal requirements of DNFBP should be fulfilled by the transferring, registration authorities and societies ie CDA, LDA, KDA, Bahria Town, DHAs and revenue authorities, etc, and not by the individual real estate agents to ensure a proper and relevant mechanism. He also voiced growing concerns about the DNFBPs, who are ‘filers’, being harassed by FBR, and are being served with notices whereas no effort for registration of ‘non-filer for registration as DNFBP was being made by the FBR.