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LAHORE: Terming the automation vital for improving the ease of doing business and bringing down costs, Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday expressed satisfaction over the increased activity in the construction industry saying that the cement sale witnessed a record increase last month.

While addressing a ceremony held in connection with the groundbreaking of ‘LDA City Naya Pakistan Apartments’ here, the premier expressed his resolve to transform Pakistan into a welfare state in accordance with the State of Medina’s principles of rule of law and compassion. "No civilization has risen without ensuring the rule of law, no one is above the law and that was the basis upon which one of the greatest civilizations was able to stand upon," the PM said, adding that "Go to Scandinavia, Germany, England, no one is above the law. There is no privileged class because no one is above the law."

Under the project, around 35,000 apartments would be constructed for the low-income group under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative of Naya Pakistan Housing to provide residence to the people through mortgage finance.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, federal and provincial cabinet members, chairman of Naya Pakistan Housing Program Lt-General Anwar Hyder(R) and vice-chairman of Lahore Development Authority Imran Munir attended the event.

The Prime Minister maintained that changing the corrupt system was a time taking, but doable challenge although the status quo elements were resisting the systemic reformation process. “The status quo does not allow change; it makes them lose their (corruption) money,” he said, adding: “There is a defining moment for the country, as the war has been waged against the mafias to bring them under the ambit of the law.”

Referring to the vision of Naya Pakistan and Medina State, the PM said that the government was extending universal health coverage, building Panagahs and introducing mobile kitchens for the poor. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government had extended Sehat Insaf Card to the entire population while Punjab would also achieve the same target by the end of this year, which will provide free medical treatment up to Rs 1 million. He said that on April 11 he will launch an initiative of 'mobile kitchen' to serve free of charge food to the poor people.

Appreciating Naya Pakistan Housing Authority for holding sessions with State Bank, FBR and commercial banks to bring maximum ease for the construction sector as well as remove hassles from the housing loan process, the PM said that the project’s launch was impossible without the passage of foreclosure law for mortgage finance and thanked the judiciary for resolving the issue pending for years. He said that the passage of foreclosure law enabled the people without cash to buy or construct their own house. The people would be able to avail the facility of housing finance and they can pay the instalments from the money they use for house rent, he added. Quoting a recently published UNDP report, the PM said as per the UN data, the poverty ratio had declined in KP province during last seven years while the human development index had shown positive trend. He said that the government would collect data on its entire population by June, which would help the government pay a direct subsidy to deserving people.

Addressing the ceremony, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said that the apartment’s scheme would be no lesser than any modern society to be equipped with all amenities, including a huge park, underground electricity lines and a cricket stadium. He said that even after the project’s completion, the LDA would be responsible for maintaining the infrastructure. “The government was on its course towards fulfillment of its commitments with the people,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021