Prime Minister Imran Khan has reportedly expressed his intention to raise $ 15 billion from the sale of 100,000 plots of land to overseas Pakistanis across Pakistan at a price of $ 150,000 each, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
The Prime Minister, sources said, shared his intent with his cabinet colleagues during a cabinet meeting held on April 28, 2020.
According to sources, Prime Minister informed the cabinet that to bolster foreign exchange reserves, which would come under pressure in the coming days, a plan had been devised to offer 100,000 plots to overseas Pakistanis at the rate of $ 150,000 per plot.
A land bank, sources said, was being established for this purpose and the Ministries/ Division were asked to indentify unutilized government lands under their control.
Prime Minister, however, was of the view that unfortunately, the response so far had been tepid and the cabinet members needed to sensitize their respective Ministries/ Division on the importance and urgency of the issue.
The Prime Minister directed all Ministries/ Divisions to urgently identify unutilized government land under their control for the land bank created by the government so that real estate schemes may be launched for overseas Pakistanis to bolster foreign exchange reserves. Prime Minister's Office will follow up.
An official who attended the cabinet meeting told Business Recorder that there was no formal summary about this proposal, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan, mentioned this proposal as a passing remark.
However, he said that different Ministries have been asked to submit the details of unutilized land with the Prime Minister's Office so that a comprehensive policy is formulated in this regard as early as possible.
On December 19, 2019, Prime Minister during a meeting with the economic team had directed utilizing government land for construction of Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.
He was of the view that overseas Pakistanis are assets of the country and facilities must be given to them for easy transfer of funds. He ordered provision of concessions to nationals residing in foreign countries who have shown willingness to strengthen the national economy.
Last year, the government launched five-year dollar denominated diaspora bonds at an interest rate of 6.75 per cent which was higher than the price at which Pakistan had issued the last two bonds of same tenor.
Officially called Pakistan Banao Certificates, the government had invited overseas Pakistanis to invest in three-year paper at 6.25 per cent interest rate and in five year bonds at 6.75 per cent interest rate.