Prime Minister Imran Khan said that over 70,000 housing projects worth Rs. 1.4 trillion have been approved by the incumbent government which will have an overall impact of Rs. 7.3 trillion on the construction industry and create 1.2 million jobs.
The premier made these remarks while chairing a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Housing, Construction, and Development in Islamabad. The meeting was briefed that for the very first time in the history of Pakistan a sustainable ecosystem for low-cost housing has been developed and implemented which has enabled the sector to achieve exponential growth.
The premier said that it is his government’s huge achievement that out of the total 80,000 applications, 35,420 applications amounting to Rs. 130 billion have been approved and a total of Rs. 46 billion has been disbursed to 13,407 applicants so far.
The prime minister said that applications worth Rs. 7 billion are being received weekly out of which Rs. 4 billion are approved and Rs 2 billion are being disbursed every week which shows that the devised system is working efficiently.
He said that the government’s biggest challenge is to change the elitist mindset of financial institutions and ensure the facilitation of common people in getting loans. He added that under the loan scheme, on average, a loan worth Rs. 3.6 million is approved and disbursed. The statistics show that the biggest beneficiary of subsidized loans are the middle and lower-income classes, he said further.
The premier said that in the last three years of the government, there has been a 148 percent increase in housing finance and the expected approval of Rs. 517 billion till December 2022 reflects the steps taken by the government to facilitate the low-cost housing and the construction industry.
The meeting was briefed that the foreclosure law has been implemented in letter and spirit and long-term loans (up to 20 years) with subsidized markup (as low as only 2 percent) are being given. In addition to that, a cost subsidy of Rs. 300,000 for low-income housing schemes and a 90 percent tax waiver have resulted in encouraging the private sector, which is actively participating in the construction of housing units under the schemes. The projects include urban, peri-urban, urban regeneration, government-funded and private sector projects.
The meeting was also briefed about the transparent and automated process to receive and process the applications which has resulted in targeting the needful lower and middle-income classes. This is being ensured by the development of one window digital portal with an automated applicant tracking system by development authorities.
The meeting was also briefed on figures regarding the total low-cost housing construction activity since 2018. According to figures, a total of 161,924 low-cost housing units were approved, out of which 45,191 units are under construction and 20,898 units have been completed. Before the subsidies, foreclosure law and low-cost housing schemes by the current government, the sector was in shambles.
A breakup of the government-financed low-cost housing projects was also given according to which 4000 units in Farash Town, 4000 units in LDA City, 1320 units in Jalozai, 245 units in Raiwind, 324 units in Sargodha and Chiniot, and 1800 units at Angoori road are being constructed with completion deadlines before the end of 2022.
The meeting was also told that a total of 2507 projects worth Rs. 627 billion have been registered on the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) portal under Fixed Tax Regime with an impact of Rs. 3.135 trillion on the economy.
The premier directed to complete the projects in the defined timelines and emphasized taking steps to improve and ease the process for low-cost housing projects.
The meeting was attended by federal ministers Shaukat Tarin and Fawad Chaudhary, Minister of State Farrukh Habib, SAPM Dr Shehbaz Gill, Governor State Bank, Chairman NAPHDA Lt. Gen Anwar Ali Haider (Retd), CEO RUDA Imran Amin, chief secretaries of Punjab and Balochistan and concerned senior officials.