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January 23, 2021

Foreign realtors look to BoI for one-stop shop facility

Business

January 23, 2021

LAHORE: Foreign real estate investors have urged Board of Investment (BoI) to create a one-window facility for acquiring permissions/licenses from various government agencies and utilities, to cut the long discouraging red tape and boost investment inflows.

Currently, every authority including development authorities of Rawalpindi, Lahore Islamabad RDA, CDA, LDA, Sui gas companies, electricity companies, National Highways Authority (NHA) are following their own processes and procedures to facilitate their customers.

Speaking on the matter at hand, Tarek Hamdy, CEO of Eighteen, a housing project, said concerns of the overseas Pakistanis and foreign investors in the real estate sector need to be addressed by empowering the BoI to provide one-stop shop for completion of all steps and legal formalities on fast-track basis, for encouraging new investment in the sector.

“The BoI should do all the communication with all the relevant government bodies such as the NHA, the RDA, the CDA, the SNGPL, etc because it is usually become difficult for foreign investors to understand where they needed to go and what to do on arrival,” Hamdy suggested.

The developer mentioned that Pakistani real estate market was lucrative for foreign investors but only streamlining of processes was a challenge. “We have plans to invest in all provinces of Pakistan with a special focus on horizontal residential development and specially designed tourism infrastructure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. But all this is only possible if policies are made in such a way that foreign investors feel welcomed rather frightened,” Hamdy said.

Shafiq Akbar, CEO Imarat group of companies, pointed out flaws in government policies, which he said could be resolved through regular interaction between key government stakeholders and industry players. He urged that one-stop shop idea for the BoI to help foreign investors in streamlining the processes of different regulatory approvals from different government authorities and departments could be a game changer in attracting foreign investment into the country.