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January 16, 2020

Rs25 bn allocated for Naya Pakistan Housing Project

Top Story

January 16, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday a decision had been taken in principle to declare construction sector an industry and directed for early measures for its implementation, as he was told that Rs25 billion had been earmarked for the first phase of the Naya Pakistan Housing Project.

The premier observed this while presiding over a meeting on construction sector, which was attended by Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing Authority General (retd) Anwar Ali Haider, representative of the Association of Builders and Developers Muhammad Hasan Bakhshi and senior officers. The prime minister maintained that after having been given the status of an industry, the construction sector would also be provided with facilities enjoyed by other industries in Pakistan.

On this occasion, he called on the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to play a proactive role in combating the trends of emergence of cartels in the construction sector and the artificial price increases of raw material used in construction. The prime minister reiterated his government commitment to promotion of construction sector, being one of its top priorities. And, again he expressed the hope that over 40 sectors were associated with the construction sector and its promotion would help speed up economic activities in the country, besides job opportunities for people.

He said that the government was fully aware of the difficulties of masses in view of the difficult financial situation. However, he continued, it was the government’s utmost endeavour to accelerate the pace of economic and business activities so that people could get relief.

The adviser on finance briefed the meeting about the government efforts in relation to promotion of construction sector and the progress made so far on this count. He added that significant headway had been made during several interactions with the ABAD representative and other concerned persons regarding the problems being faced by the construction sector. He pointed out that an agreement had been reached in principle on viable suggestions, forwarded by them. Regarding the fixed income tax, the meeting was informed that agreement had been reached about the future line of action in this connection.

The meeting was told that the government had already made its policy clear on the construction of multi-storey buildings, which was reiterated in the cabinet meeting Tuesday. Moreover, the Federal Board of Revenue would appoint valuation of committees for regions next week in connection with valuation table, which would include ABAD representatives as well. These committees, the meeting was informed, would also be table to take decisions on assortment of areas. The prime minister directed the advisor on finance to file a petition in the superior judiciary for formation of a special bench for dealing early with the pending cases regarding lands and construction.

The prime minister also agreed to a proposal that a compliance regime, in line with the rules and regulations, would be promoted instead of issuance of NOCs. He said that to utilise the state-owned land for construction, particularly for the low-income groups, was an important component of the government policy.