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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday said the government had decided to revive the economic activities affected by coronavirus through housing and construction sectors, and banks had been asked to allocate five percent of their portfolio for the construction sector.

Speaking after chairing the first meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Housing, Construction and Development, Imran said the government had taken a number of measures for the construction sector, and reached an understanding with banks on five percent of their portfolio for the construction sector, which would be Rs330 billion.

He said that the government had allocated Rs30 billion subsidy for Naya Pakistan Housing Programme and each house in the first 100,000 units would be given subsidy of Rs300,000.

The prime minister further stated that the government had also decided to subsidise interest payment on borrowing for five and 10 marla houses above five and seven percent respectively, and decided to minimise the no objection certificates (NOCs) issued by different departments, and set time limit for various approval, one-window operation is also being introduced in this regard.

The prime minister said the construction sector would also play a role of catalysts for employment generation in the country and poverty reduction, and urged the investors to take benefit from the incentives available to them as most of them might not be available after December 31, 2020, owing to international obligations. The prime minister said that owing to coronavirus, relief from the international obligation was available for a specific time period, and investors investing in the construction sector would not be asked question with regard to sources of income up till December 2020.

The prime minister said the NCC on construction had been tasked to remove hindrances in the construction sector, and all the provinces had also been taken in the loop because many issues were related to the provinces.

The committee will meet on a weekly basis to discuss challenges faced by the construction sector and would resolve them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020