ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said Thursday that Rs 400 billion construction projects would be initiated by the end of December this year by the PTI government to help revive the economy.
The information minister was holding a press conference along with the Special Assistant to PM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Dr Sania Nishtar, saying a mega project for the construction of houses and apartments worth Rs145 billion would be started by October while many more would follow the suit.
He said that PM Imran's policies were focused on providing relief to the middle and lower class.
He apprised the media about the meeting that took place earlier, involving the prime minister, builders, investors and heads of utilities to focus on the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.
"This project has already started, as you can see," he said, referring to the government's initiative to provide houses to residents at low cost. "You saw the auction of the CDA and how successful it was. All of the plots were sold [for more money] than what was expected," he added.
Faraz said that such meetings between the prime minister and the stakeholders in the construction sector will take place every week in the future and PM Imran will inquire about its updates daily.
"This is an initiative, which will prove to be a milestone in the history of Pakistan," he said.
Faraz said that the government wanted to introduce the mortgage system and institutionalise it so that the system continues to exist. "We are creating opportunities out of this COVID-19 crisis," he said. "Through this mechanism, even if a person earns less, he can buy a home for himself."
In response to a question on whether government employees will be able to partake in the housing project, the information replied in the affirmative. "Of course [government employees can participate in the housing scheme]. This is a project for all Pakistanis," he clarified.
Faraz said that the scheme will change housing projects for good in the long run, stressing that it will create employment and investment opportunities for many people.
Speaking to media, Dr Sania said that the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme had garnered praise internationally as it had helped out the poor during these difficult times.
She said that PM Imran stressed on the need for merit to be followed when it came to the disbursement of cash among the needy.
Last week, PM Imran announced a Rs30 billion subsidy for the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme in line with helping the underprivileged class build their own homes.
The prime minister had said that the scheme was aimed at the "working class, the welder, the small shop owner, who do not have a lot of money to build their own houses".
"The goal of the Naya Pakistan housing scheme was to construct houses for this strata of the society, which doesn't have cash.
"We faced many hindrances while launching the scheme due to some existing legislation, such as the foreclosure law, which allows banks not to lend out money without a confirmation of repayment of instalments.
"[However] despite a lot of hurdles, we are almost successful in passing the law for Pakistan, which is now implemented around the world," he had said.
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