Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday stated that low-cost housing scheme is a step towards poverty reduction as housing construction activity would make 40 industries operational, creating new employment opportunities in the country. Speaking at the launching ceremony of finance policy on low-cost housing scheme by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the prime minister also gave the example of China that lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty in three decades.
"Low cost housing is one component of poverty reduction and this is the beginning" he said and mentioned that only a meager 0.2 percent of the GDP is available for house financing in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister thanked Governor SBP for making cash available for small farmers as well as small and medium industries (SMEs). He also stated that people of tribal areas, transgender and widows are included in the scheme.
The Prime Minister said that construction of housing makes 40 industries operational and creates new employment opportunities. He said the flagship programme of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf's low cost housing scheme would also create new employment opportunities. "We have decided that slum areas will be establishing commercial buildings by encouraging private developers and house them in flats with ownership rights. We will make Islamabad a modern city" he added. While presenting broad and fundamental elements of financial policy for low cost housing, Governor SBP Tariq Bajwa stated that this Policy was developed after deep consultations with banks, builder associations and Task Force on low cost housing to facilitate lending by banks to low cost housing. He said the banks are provided fiscal and regulatory incentives for participation in the low cost housing programme.
Finance Minister Asad Umer congratulated SBP governor for announcing a comprehensive regulatory framework for Prime minister's initiative to provide shelters to the weak segment. The Minister said that there is a shortage of ten million housing units in the country and the government wants to construct five million houses during its five-year tenure. The Minister said that it is a legal requirement under the Constitution to provide shelter, food and clothing to the poor and SBP has done its homework for the low cost housing scheme and now work on construction of houses would start anytime soon.