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After lucky draw: People to be given houses in 1.5 years, says PM

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July 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that the government would control prices of housing units through necessary legislations so that a salaried person or those belonging to the low-income group can afford a home easily.

The prime minister laid the foundation stone of Naya Pakistan Housing Project (NPHP) on Thursday in the suburb of the federal capital under which 185,000 housing units would be built for the low-income segment of the society, as part of the government’s agenda of building five million houses across the country.

Addressing the ceremony,he reiterated his government's commitment to provide housing to people at affordable rates. Prime Minister Imran said that out of the 18,500 units in Zone-IV of the federal capital, 10,000 would be specified for the low-income group, which would be given homes through a lucky draw. “The government will give 10,000 houses to the needy through lucky draw,” he said, adding that the houses would be handed over to them after one and a half years of the lucky draw.

The prime minister said the housing units will be built on public-private partnership basis wherein the government will provide land and the private sector will construct housing units. He expressed joy over the initiation of the NPHP and vowed to expand it to other parts of the country.

“Approximately, 40 percent of the people are living in slums in Karachi. The government will construct houses on half of the government land for the citizens in the metropolis, whereas, the remaining land will be allotted to develop commercial centres,” he added.

The prime minister said the number of people availing themselves of credit from banks for constructing their houses is very limited as mortgage practice is not very common in Pakistan's banking system. He said the government is working on a foreclosure law to promote the culture of housing mortgage, as is the practice in many countries of the world. Imran Khan said the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme would enable the government servants and other people to get houses at affordable installments.

Imran Khan said that the role of the government in this project would be similar to that of a facilitator, as the government will provide land to private contractors who would then execute the project. “We have started this housing scheme along with the private sector as the government has not enough resources to build five million houses. However, the government has vacant land all over the country,” he said.

He said that similar housing schemes were introduced in countries such as Turkey, India and Malaysia where, due to lack of income, the common man could not afford his own house. “Now the salaried class and the government employees have their own homes against payments in small instalments,” he added. He reminded that 80 to 90 percent people in the US and the UK have the facility of building their own homes through bank loans. “In India only 10 percent can get the bank loans for building their own homes while in Malaysia, 30 percent are enabled to do the same,” he added.

The prime minister also vowed to provide housing facility to the poor people living in shanty areas and slums of the country. He said two slums areas in Islamabad have been identified to start the project. Imran Khan said the housing project will be expanded across Pakistan in phases.

It is worth mentioning here that under the NPHP, 135,000 housing units will be constructed across Pakistan in the first phase. 25,000 apartments will be built in Islamabad for federal government employees and 110,000 apartments will be constructed in Balochistan, mainly for the fishermen of Gwadar. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 3,000 units would be established.

The foundation stone laying ceremony of NHPH was attended by Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Senator Faisal Javed and MNA Asad Umar, former health minister Aamir Mahmood Kaiani, federal secretary housing Dr Imran Zaib Khan and others. Kaiani was seen for the first time in a public gathering since his ouster from the cabinet.

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