Karachi “Urban Regeneration” to “Upgrade” Property Valuation; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

8 October 2023

More Displacement in Karachi in the Name of “Urban Regeneration”

Karachi “Urban Regeneration” to “Upgrade” Property Valuation; Infocus Weekly Briefs

Government employees’ quarters in Karachi are again under the radar of Sindh government. As according to a news report this week the Sind Caretaker government has decided to build apartments on land of Martin Quarters, Jamshed Quarters, Jahangir Quarters and Clayton Quarters after demolishing the decades-old buildings allotted to government employees. The decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of the planning and development and the finance departments chaired by caretaker Sindh Chief Minister retired Justice Maqbool Baqar who approved the project of “urban regeneration” to re-engineer the old quarters.

The meeting participants were told that the project would be completed with the participation of the World Bank and P&D and work on the feasibility of the project had already been started by the World Bank. The caretaker CM said that the new well-planned construction would not only beautify the area, but would also provide best accommodation to the people. “New apartments to be constructed under the plan will have all essential facilities including shopping malls, offices, parking lots, libraries, parks and other spaces for education and health.” Though, some of the said quarters were established before the Partition and their evacuation would certainly invite resistance by residents, yet the CM directed the P&D department to expedite the implementation of the urban regeneration plan.

World Bank asks to “upgrade” Property Valuations

The World Bank (WB) has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to release updated valuation tables of immovable properties across the country. The financial institution seeks Pakistan to expand the tax base, improve audit capacity, and real-time monitoring of the point of sales system integration under the WB-funded Pakistan Raises Revenue (PRRP) programme. As per the details, a meeting between the WB and FBR members will be held soon. The FBR is to release updated values of immovable properties in the next 1 to 2 months. It was mentioned that the authority has already commenced the process of upgrading valuation tables or properties across the country in collaboration with the provincial authorities.

The meeting will also discuss the status of the single returns portal for provincial general sales tax (GST) authorities under the GST harmonization agenda. Under the WB-funded program, the FBR has finalized the Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) to engage stakeholders. The total cost of the Pakistan Raises Revenue (PRR) Project is USD 1.6 billion and it is expected to be completed by December 2024. The FBR is planning to undertake the PRRP to upgrade Information and Communication Technology (ICT) across the country. The objective of the project is to contribute to a sustainable increase in domestic revenue by broadening the tax base and facilitating compliance.

CDA’ Project for Overseas’ Pakistanis

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has reportedly announced plans to launch an advanced residential scheme exclusively designed for overseas Pakistanis in Mauza Kuri. During a meeting chaired by CDA Chairman Captain (R) Anwarul Haque this week,  it was revealed that the new housing scheme for overseas Pakistanis will span 14,000 kanals of land located near Kuri Road, adjacent to Park Road. The plots in this project will be exclusively marketed and sold to expatriates in US dollars, which will also contribute to strengthening foreign exchange reserves.


It was also briefed that the CDA has already approved the appointment of a design consultant who will be responsible for executing essential research involving environmental impact, hydrology, and traffic management, among other aspects. Moreover, the consultant will develop the infrastructure design and ensure that all modern amenities are seamlessly integrated into the scheme. Earlier, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis Jawad Sohrab Malik inaugurated Support Desks for Overseas Pakistanis and One Window facility within the premises of CDA. The Support Desk at CDA will provide dedicated services encompassing estate management, building control, land and rehabilitation matters, as well as revenue-related issues. Furthermore, a designated information official will be available to offer procedural guidance.

Rise in Cement Sales

The domestic cement sales has jumped to 10.122 million tons from 8.602m tons showing an uptick of a 17.7% in the same period last fiscal year, owing to the revival of construction activities. Exports during 3MFY24 also posted a whooping growth of 72% to 1.751m tons from 1.019n tons due to rupee devaluation during July-Aug 2023. As a result, total cement despatches (local and export) grew by 23.4% to 11.873m tons from 9.621m tons in 3MFY23. Cement exports have been made to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and West Africa.

A spokesperson from the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) highlighted the need for government relief in duties and taxes to reduce production costs and make the product competitive in international markets. He emphasised the importance of abolishing the 5% import duty on coal and expressed concerns about rising power tariffs and petroleum prices.

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