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LET LOW PAID OVERSEAS PAKISTANIS COME
08-05-2005, 01:03 AM,
#1
LET LOW PAID OVERSEAS PAKISTANIS COME
By Javed - 16 July 2005

His Excellency Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz has instructed the recently re-constituted Housing Advisory Board of the Ministry of Housing & Works for legislation for regulating housing societies and companies to safeguard pubic interest. Overseas Pakistanis (OPs) have been urged to invest in Housing.

His Excellency as the then Minister of Finance after a meeting with Association of Developers in 2001 stated that in order to encourage OPs to enter into construction business all taxes on properties purchased by them are exempt.

Mehran Town Housing Scheme was established in 1975 exclusively for Overseas Pakistanis in Korangi Area Karachi. Hundred percent payment in foreign exchange was obtained. Since 30 years this scheme is worst neglected. Under some deep planning it had been under encroachment thanks to the bureaucracy. Today this scheme has come within the circle of Korgani mega Industrial area. There are some apprehensions that if it remained further neglected slowly it might get fully encroached upon. About three or four years back a joint fact finding team comprising official representatives of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, Karachi Development Authority and also perhaps some other representatives visited the site. It was unanimously agreed there at site that this scheme was today not worth human living and should be turned into an industrial scheme. The senior journalist Mr. Irhshad Ahmed Haqqani once assigned his whole column on the ill fate of this scheme.

In case His Excellency the Prime Minister really wants Overseas Pakistanis to invest then he may take a practical step immediately ordering to turn the scheme officially as industrial giving a two year margin for setting up small cottage industry. This will not only provide a reasonable livelihood to those OPs who are coming back from abroad on expiry of their service but would also afford employment to 8 to 12 people in each such cottage industry including as a support to big manufacturing unit.

His Excellency may also get his 2001 statement that OPs were exempt from all taxes in order to encourage them enter into construction implemented paving way for OPs to practically come into small and medium scheme construction business providing respectable livelihood for themselves and share in reducing the acute housing shortage in the country.

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