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250,000 jobs created under NAPHDA: PM wants laws on land-use changes, green spaces protection

By Our Correspondent
October 15, 2021
250,000 jobs created under NAPHDA: PM wants laws on land-use changes, green spaces protection

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said 250,000 employment opportunities were created so far since construction activities started under the Naya Pakistan Housing & Development Authority (NAPHDA) programme.

He emphasised that cadastral mapping was important for eliminating encroachments and enhancing land revenues and contended that the provinces should expedite legislation for stopping land-use changes and protecting green spaces.

To this effect, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Housing, Construction & Development to review the progress made on existing and new projects here.

While taking briefing from Surveyor General of Pakistan Maj-Gen Shahid Pervez, the prime minister remarked that cadastral mapping would help in development of an authentic land record database: It would help in clearly identifying demarcation of land and thereby eliminate illegal encroachments.

Moreover, he pointed out that the authentic database would also contribute towards enhancing revenues received from lands. The PM said: “Land-use changes need to be checked where green vegetation areas are being converted into the construction projects”.

He called on all provincial and AJ&K governments to expedite legislation to put a stop to land-use changes, saying protection of green spaces and agricultural lands is essential for environmental considerations and to safeguard food security. However, construction projects would be allowed under regulations, he noted.

The NCC meeting was briefed that under phase-I of the mapping exercise, 90pc digitalisation of the state lands had been completed in Punjab, 96pc in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 50pc in Balochistan.

The Capital Development Authority chairman said that with the help of cadastral maps, the CDA had started imposition of fine on encroachers and the amount collected was being used for compensation of masses, who were defrauded by illegal housing societies.

The NCC meeting was attended by Federal Minister Fawad Ahmed, Minister of State Farrukh Habib, SAPM Dr Shehbaz Gill, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Malik Amin Aslam, Minister for Local Govts Punjab Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, MNA Aftab Siddiqui, Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing & Development Authority Lt-Gen (retd) Anwar Ali Haider, Chairman FBR, Surveyor General of Pakistan, and senior officers. Chief secretaries of Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh and AJ&K, and officials from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa joined the meeting via video-link.

Earlier, the PM also chaired a meeting to review progress on Ravi Urban Development Project and Central Business District Lahore. The PM directed the authorities concerned to expedite progress as these projects were very important for attracting foreign direct investment in the country.