Punjab ponders amends to law to enable expats sell property without complications

  • Initiative would help overseas Pakistanis to save millions of rupees, time

LAHORE: The Punjab government has been considering a plan to amend a 116-year-old law to allow overseas Pakistanis to buy and sell property in their home country without any legal complications.

According to officials privy to the development, after these amendments, overseas Pakistanis who wish to buy or sell real estate will not have to travel to Pakistan rather they will have to submit their statement for the sale deed directly to the embassy in the country of their living.

In the past, Pakistanis living abroad were required by Section 31 of the Registration Act 1908 to register their power of attorney and send it to Pakistan to purchase or sell real estate. The individual in Pakistan to whom the power of attorney was sent was considered to have the legal authority to do so in person.

Due to this antiquated law, Pakistanis living abroad had to deal with several legal issues while purchasing and selling real estate, occasionally even fraud.

For this, the Punjab’s government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) have joined hands to devise a system in which some MOFA officers at foreign embassies will be assigned the powers of sub-registrar.

Following the modification of Section 31(1) of the Registration Act 1908, immigrants must appear before the local commission officer designated by the Foreign Office at their respective embassy in order to purchase or sell any property in Pakistan.

On the other hand, the person buying or selling the property in Pakistan will be present in the sub-registrar’s office, where they will be verified through the NADRA system.

Sources said that this initiative of the Punjab government would save overseas Pakistanis millions of rupees in terms of time and travel expenses.

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