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Imran launches Pakistan Housing Plan
October 11, 2018
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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated New Pakistan Housing Programme on Wednesday and sought to allay concerns regarding an impending economic meltdown, saying he will take Pakistan out of this “difficult time.”

The inauguration of the project is part of government’s election manifesto of constructing five million houses for the shelterless people in its five-year tenure.

“One country wants to invest US$20 in the housing industry in Pakistan. We will steer Pakistan out of crises. It’s a difficult time for us but this too will phase soon,” the prime minister said adding that he would devise a roadmap to address the challenges being faced by the country.

“The housing scheme is our real scheme. At least 40 industries are directly related with the housing scheme. When we launch the project, all these industries will benefit from it. Our target is to build five million affordable houses in five years. Only ordinary people will benefit from this scheme.

“A common man who can never think of owning his house is our target. And our second target is to provide employment opportunities to our jobless youth,” he said, adding that 40 industries were directly linked with the housing project.

“We will encourage youth to set up their own construction companies to be part of this initiative.” Khan said that skill development programme would also be launched to help youth benefit from the project. He noted that 80 per cent of American population build their homes through loans.

He announced that Naya Pakistan Housing Authority would be set up to provide one-window operation to investors. “The authority will facilitate the process,” he said, adding he would himself supervise the project.

The authority, the premier said, would be formed in 90 days. In addition, a 17-member task force would be set up to help run it. He said that government would only provide land while the rest would be done by private sector.

“We will collect data of katchi abidis from across Pakistan. Nobody has ever thought about slums. We will first locate slums and resettle them with all the facilities along with ownership rights.”

The prime minister said that a pilot project would be launched in 60 Pakistani districts to register data about the demand for new housing. The construction, he said, would begin after the completion of registration and evaluating the mortgage capacity of buyers.

“We never had any financing model. We are preparing a new regulatory body to help arrange financing for the houses. The National Financial Regulatory Body will be set up in 60 days.”

The prime minister said that the law ministry was preparing a legal framework to remove hurdles being faced by the construction industry. The framework will be ready in 60 days, he said.

A new scheme, he announced, would be set up to build a housing colony for federal governments. The scheme would kick off on Oct.11. “I have also called Punjab Housing Minister to discuss the issue for the province. Our step by step process will begin from Oct.11. Our growth rate will accelerate and youth will get new jobs.”

Khan urged the nation to lift their morale, saying this difficult situation would be addressed soon. “The reforms we are taking will start taking effect in six months. Pakistan is a rich country. It’s a gift of God.”

The premier said he will “guide” the nation every week on his government’s economic plans. “Have courage, there is nothing to worry about,” the prime minister said, assuring the nation that the turbulence in the economy won’t last long.

Khan said an impression had been created in the last 48 hours “as if the sky is going to fall (or) the day of judgment is upon us,” but instead sought to explain the issues faced by the economy

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