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Uncovering Pakistan’s ‘fake’ real estate growth as driver of economic disparity 

02:41 PM | 27 Apr, 2023
Uncovering Pakistan’s ‘fake’ real estate growth as driver of economic disparity 

 Pakistan is not unique in its practice of investing black money in real estate to make it white. Similar practices can be found in many countries around the world, particularly in developing economies; however, the broader impact of these practices on the economy can vary depending on factors such as the size and structure of the real estate market, the level of regulation, and the overall health of the economy.

 Let us explore the impact of investing black money in real estate on the Pakistani economy and compare it with other countries that have different policies in this regard besides examining the factors that have contributed to Pakistan's economic struggles and assessing the role that real estate investment has played in these challenges.

 Black money in Pakistan ends up in real estate which has contributed to a concentration of wealth in few hands and a lack of investment in other sectors of the economy. The real estate market has become a safe haven for those looking to launder money or evade taxes, leading to a distortion of prices and a lack of transparency. The impact of this practice on the economy is huge as the real estate market has become a major driver of economic growth in Pakistan accounting for a significant share of GDP.

The pumping of black money into real estate has led to the misallocation of resources and a lack of diversification in the economy, making it more vulnerable to external shocks. The spillover effect of this investment channel is income inequality and a lack of social mobility. While those with ill-gotten gains make millions, those who are unable to invest in the real estate market are left behind, leading to a widening gap between the rich and poor. This disparity has contributed to social unrest and political instability, further undermining economic growth.

Tackling the whitening of black money isn’t a tough nut to crack as countries around the world have taken different approaches to real estate investment, with varying degrees of success. For example, in countries like Singapore and Hong Kong, the government has implemented strict regulations on the real estate market to prevent speculation and ensure that housing remains affordable for ordinary people. In Singapore, the government has implemented a comprehensive set of policies to regulate the real estate market. These policies include restrictions on foreign ownership, a system of stamp duties, and limits on the amount of loans that individuals can take to purchase property. Similarly, in Hong Kong, the government has implemented a series of measures to regulate the real estate market and ensure that housing remains affordable.

These measures include a progressive stamp duty system, restrictions on foreign ownership, and a subsidy scheme for low-income families. In contrast, countries like India and Indonesia have struggled with similar challenges faced by Pakistan, with a concentration of wealth in the real estate market leading to a lack of investment in other sectors of the economy. In India, for example, the real estate market has become a major driver of economic growth, but this growth has been largely driven by speculative investments rather than productive investments. This has made the economy vulnerable to external shocks as highlighted above. 

 Pakistan has faced significant economic challenges in recent years, including a balance of payments crisis, high inflation, and low levels of foreign investment. The country has also struggled with political instability and social unrest, which have further dent a severe blow to economic growth. Real estate investment has played a significant role in this regard as the focus on this sector has also made it difficult for the government to implement policies to support other areas of the economy, such as manufacturing or agriculture.

To address these challenges, Pakistan needs to implement policies to promote greater transparency and accountability in the real estate market through increased regulation, greater disclosure requirements, and penalties for those who engage in illicit activities.

In conclusion, real estate investment is a double-edged sword for Pakistan but to make this investment worthwhile in the long run, there should be a framework just like Singapore and Hong Kong to regulate the market and derive benefits for the greater good instead of widening the gap between the haves and the have nots.

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Rupee remains stable against US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham and Riyal; check forex rates

Pakistani rupee remained stable against US dollar in the open bank market on Friday.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Friday, the US dollar was being quoted at 285.3 for buying and 288.15 for selling.

Euro moves down to 311 for buying and 314 for selling. British Pound rate stands at 358.5 for buying, and 361.5 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED stands at 78 whereas the Saudi Riyal rate stands at 76.20.

Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan – 1 December 2023

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 285.3 288.15
Euro EUR 311 314
UK Pound Sterling GBP 358.5 361.5
U.A.E Dirham AED 78 78.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 76.2 77
Australian Dollar AUD 187.2 189
Bahrain Dinar BHD 759.67 767.67
Canadian Dollar CAD 209 211
China Yuan CNY 39.59 39.98
Danish Krone DKK 41.38 41.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.63 36.98
Indian Rupee INR 3.39 3.5
Japanese Yen JPY 1.49 1.56
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 926.7 935.7
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 60.38 60.98
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.44 175.44
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.25 26.55
Omani Riyal OMR 741.26 749.26
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 77.63 78.33
Singapore Dollar SGD 211 213
Swedish Korona SEK 26.93 27.23
Swiss Franc CHF 325.9 328.4
Thai Bhat THB 8.23 8.38

Gold rates drop in Pakistan; Check today’s gold rates 1 December 2023

KARACHI – The gold price continues to climb up in the local market in line of upward trend in international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 1 December 2023

On Thursday, the single tola of 24 Karat gold was available at Rs217,400, and the price for 10-gram gold reached Rs186,390.

Meanwhile, the 22 Karat Gold price stands at Rs199,282, 21 karat rate for each tola is Rs190,225 and 18k gold rate hovers around Rs163,050.

In international market, the price of precious metal hovers around $2,045 per ounce.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Karachi PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Islamabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Peshawar PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Quetta PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Sialkot PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Attock PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Gujranwala PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Jehlum PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Multan PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Bahawalpur PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Gujrat PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Nawabshah PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Chakwal PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Hyderabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Nowshehra PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Sargodha PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Faisalabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696
Mirpur PKR 217,400 PKR 2,696

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