Karachi, June 07, 2023 (PPI-OT): Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has apprised that the apex body has recommended to the Government of Pakistan for announcing REIT rules and regulations for the agriculture sector and this concept has been around in the world for quite a long time.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh added that his may be implemented within the framework of “Rules and Regulations” announced by the GOP in April 2015; related to “Real Estate Investment Trust Regulations, 2015”. He maintained that Pakistan is an agriculture country; therefore, focus on agricultures should be of prime importance and it requires far more attention than before due to global food shortages.

FPCCI Chief explained that we have witnessed that the recent floods have destroyed a lot of agricultural land and its output. Additionally, due to the climate change people are fearing this may happen in future as well. Hence, the government of Pakistan should announce strong and efficient agriculture polices; and, Agri REIT will be a significant step towards this direction.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh pointed out that import of food items will continue to drain our foreign exchange on one hand and the cost of imported food items will be increasing substantially over the years; resulting in inflation and millions of more people will be pushed under the poverty-line.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh stressed that the world population keeps growing at an unprecedented rate and global warming continues unabated, people are gaining consciousness about preserving limited earthly resources; and, efforts are being made by the international market players to enhance the agricultural yield.

In Pakistan, on one hand we are operating at a very low yield as compared to international standards on almost all of our agricultural crops; and, on the other our population is increasing far more swiftly than other countries. Therefore, to feed our people and to export agricultural products, we must increase the yield of all our crops as the land will not increase.

Mr. Sheikh highlighted that this feat requires huge investments; which is difficult for individuals or small landowners; and, Argi REIT has the potential to significantly transform the Pakistani agricultural landscape. Under Agri REIT, land can be developed from large stretches for the purposes of selling to individuals or other legal entities to generate high yields using modern technologies.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh further stated that one of the advantages of Agri REIT is that the total cost of developing a property gets divided among the final owners of the land; which is usually small as compared to buying the entire property. This cost of development includes sourcing water; laying roads; preparing the land; availing scientific farming techniques and employing more staff for the upkeep and maintenance of land and output, he added.

FPCCI proposes that an SRO may be issued by the Government of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, for the Agriculture REIT. This SRO may be in line with SRO. 328(I)/2015; related to current REIT Regulations. Additionally, Agri REIT should be in line with current REIT Management Company (The RMC); and, it should also be a Non- Banking Finance Company (NBFC) to be licensed by SECP to carry out REIT Management Services in accordance with the Companies ordinance 1984.

For more information, contact:

Head Office,

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)

Federation House, Main Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan

Tel: +92-21-35873691-94

Fax: +92-21-35874332

Email: info@fpcci.org.pk

Website: http://fpcci.org.pk/

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