Sunday September 26, 2021

Housing sector

July 31, 2021

This refers to the news item ‘Construction sector attracts Rs 1 tr investment: Farrukh’ (Jul 30). The government seems to be overly obsessed with the housing sector, and it provides all sorts of facilities and incentives to it. On the one hand, huge funds are being channeled to this sector. On the other, the agriculture and manufacturing sectors are being ignored. Housing is the government’s top agenda which is based on the misplaced assumption that investment in the housing sector will boost economic activities and rein in the fiscal and current account deficits. The housing sector is not an engine of economic growth, and it will not result in increased export earnings or sustainable job creation. On the other hand, it inflates the import bill as raw materials used for home construction are usually imported into the country.

The government’s economic strategy should be rapid industrialisation; it should set up manufacturing hubs across the country to meet this target. Instead of being limited to assembling or packaging goods, the country should use its potential to manufacture goods. This step can reduce our dependence on imports and boost the country’s export volume.

Arshad M Khawaja