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July 24, 2020

Housing sector: PM Imran Khan seeks plans for one-window, online approval of processes

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July 24, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the chief secretaries of all provinces to submit within week a roadmap for launching a one-window facility and online approval of permits, fee payments and parallel working of all departments related to the housing sector.

Chairing a meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction and Development here, the prime minister directed for completion of the government’s approvals like no objection certificate and others within stipulated time period, and the officials showing negligence or creating unnecessary hurdles must be dealt with strictly.

The meeting was attended by Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, special assistants to prime minister Malik Amin Aslam, Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa and Dr Shahbaz Gill, Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Anwar Ali Haider, State Bank of Pakistan governor, secretary housing, chief secretaries of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Giligit-Baltistan while the chief secretaries of Balochistan and Sindh, additional chief secretary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, presidents of National Bank and Khyber Bank participated through video link.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said the government had given unprecedented incentives package for the construction industry to accelerate the economic activity, promote allied industries and providing housing facility to the common man, particularly the low-income groups.

He said the government was resolved to ease out the processes in that regard to make maximum number of people benefit from the facility.

The prime minister instructed for utilisation of the information technology at all levels in the construction sector to make it swifter and easier.

Regarding the promotion of mortgage facility for the construction of low-cost houses for the low-income group, Imran Khan directed the finance ministry and State Bank to finalise the process of providing subsidy to banks to remove any hassles.

The Lahore Development Authority chairman apprised the meeting about the LDA City’s project under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme. The Sindh chief secretary told the meeting that as per the prime minister’s directive, the taxes ratio had been reduced in the province bringing it at par with those in Punjab and the KP.

The Punjab and KP chief secretaries briefed the meeting on the measures taken by their respective provinces to facilitate the construction industry like the launch of portal and establishment of E-Sahulat centres.

Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday ordered for ensuring provision of internet facility with the best coverage in the country’s far flung and backward areas, particularly in Balochistan, merged areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.

He was presiding over a meeting held here about enhancing and improving the coverage of internet in the country.

Minister for Information Technology (IT) Syed Ameenul Haq, Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, Secretary IT, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman, Universal Service Fund (USF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other officers attended the meeting.

The prime minister said the provision of Internet facility was the need of hour. In order to utilise the true potential of young generation, it was also necessary to ensure their easy access to education, and wide coverage of internet and its easy availability was also essential to achieve that objective, he added.

Imran Khan directed the USF to take necessary measures for the provision of easy and cheaper Internet in schools. He also directed to constitute a committee comprising the advisor to the PM on finance, and ministers for industries and production, planning, information technology, and education so that they could present their recommendations in that regard.

During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed in detail about the projects of providing internet facility and its improved coverage in the far-flung and backward areas by the USF during the last two years and its targets for the current year.

He was also briefed about progress of various projects regarding the provision of internet facility and improving its coverage in various districts of Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

The prime minister was apprised that during the past two years, 1,800 kilometres long optic fibre had been laid in different areas of Balochistan and KP, while 4,600 kilometres long optic fibre would be laid in 547 union councils during the current year.