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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction and Development was informed that there was considerable increase in borrowing from banks for the construction of low-cost houses under Prime Minister Scheme and application for more than Rs6 billion additional loans were received during the last two weeks.

The meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday was informed that on average, the rate of borrowing from banks is increasing significantly. In the last two weeks alone, additional loan applications of Rs6 billion have been received. The prime minister said that the government is fulfilling the promise of low-cost housing for the poor and the middle class and for the first time in the history of the country, 12,400 low-cost and standard flats are being provided to the people living in the slum areas of Islamabad.

He further stated that commercial buildings should be constructed on the basis of public-private partnership in expensive sectors of Islamabad. The premier said that loans worth Rs38 billion have been provided to build houses.

The prime minister said that there are immense opportunities for the promotion of tourism in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and stated that strict laws should be enacted to curb illegal constructions in Azad Kashmir. He said that quality and low cost houses for refugees from Occupied Kashmir would also be constructed soon.

Govt incentivising construction industry for low-income segment: PM

The meeting was informed that the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir would provide land worth Rs5.6 billion for the accommodation of refugees. In the first phase, houses will be provided to 1,300 families. The meeting was informed that 63 percent of Azad Jammu and Kashmir consists of forests, while 56.5 percent of the total area of Kashmir is government land.

Land use mapping of 10 districts has been completed. Later on, the prime minister also chaired a meeting on Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA), the Central Business District (CBD) Walton and the Nalluh Lei Expressway. He said that these projects are key priority of the government.

This is the first time in the history of the country that the dead capital in the form of unused government land is being turned into a valuable asset through these innovative projects. These projects will not only create employment opportunities but also a growing urban population.

Earlier, the prime minister was informed that the CBD had planned to generate revenue through auction of seven commercial plots in Lahore downtown. Also the construction of Burj Al-Jinnah has been planned besides construction of two premium residential towers and 500-bed hospital in Pakistan.

The meeting was informed that the construction of CBD Square and Walton Road flyover; and building a classic aviation museum to preserve Walton Airport’s heritage is also among the CBD’s goals.

The prime minister was also informed that an effective awareness campaign has been launched through the media to maximise revenue through local and foreign investment in these historic projects. The premier directed the concerned authorities to remove all legal hurdles as soon as possible in order to attract more investors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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