Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the housing projects of Rs 100 billion under the flagship “Naya Pakistan Housing Programme” for the construction of 20,000 houses for low salaried people in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Quetta.
Imran Khan, while addressing the ceremony said the government had made enormous efforts to start building five million houses in the country, as the initiative had often drawn criticism from political opponents. But now, after the breakthrough and the search for ways, the journey had started towards the realization of this initiative, he added.
PM praised the Lahore High Court ruling on foreclosure laws and said the LHC ruling would lead to a housing sector revolution through increased financing by the banks. In the West, the bank loan facility was being extended for the construction of affordable housing. The percentage of the mortgage facility for housing in Pakistan is only 0.2% compared to 80% in the United States and the United Kingdom, 30% in Malaysia and 12% in India.
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The prime minister said, “All the figures show that inflation is going down, and the interest rates will also gown down.”
PM said the government employees, particularly the class four employees and police personnel, could not construct their own houses with salaries, the government could arrange bank financing for them. Affordable housing would target those people and would also benefit 40 industries allied with the construction sector, creating job opportunities and pushing economic growth.
He said, the government had decided to implement master plans for the urban areas, as Karachi had been turned into a jungle of concrete, Islamabad expanded up to Murree and green areas vanished from Lahore, the solution of those issues was the promotion and encouragement of vertical construction instead of horizontal buildings, for which laws had been relaxed.
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The PM said income from the multi-billion rupees commercial projects like the one launched in Islamabad for the construction of new Blue Area and others to be initiated in Lahore and Karachi soon, would be spent on the construction of housing facilities for the people in slum areas.
The prime minister said as he had himself seen people sleeping at pavements in Lahore, he used to think that if he ever got power he would do something for such people, adding, that after coming to power he started the establishment of shelters for homeless people. So far, the number of such shelters had reached 160 where the poor people were served free food with the cooperation of philanthropists, he added.
He said five million people in Punjab had so far been provided with the health-card scheme facility and it was also decided to provide health cards to the special and handicapped as well as the transgender under which any family could get free of cost treatment up to Rs 720,000 from public and private hospitals.
The prime minister said it was also decided to provide health cards to the special and handicapped as well as the transgender so that they could also benefit from the health cover being provided by the government.
He said the government in the next step would strengthen the country’s health system by offering duty concessions to private hospitals on the import of medical equipment and machinery.
The prime minister said strengthening of education, health, housing, and justice systems were the priority areas of his government. The government would come up with a Legal Aid Bill under which the state would provide the facility of legal aid to the poor, who could hire a lawyer.
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