PM Imran says 600 slum dwellers to get low-cost flats
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For the first time in Pakistan’s history, 600 out of 4,000 apartments will be given to slum dwellers as Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the ground-breaking of the low-cost housing units in the capital’s Farash Town on Thursday.
Other 2,000 flats will be allotted to those who had registered themselves under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, while 1,600 flats will be sold out on an open market basis by Capital Development Authority (CDA).
The construction of apartments will be jointly executed by Naya Pakistan Housing Development Authority (NPHDA), Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Frontier Works Organization (FWO).
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the project aimed at providing shelter to the underprivileged segment of the society, particularly the working class and labourers.
Imran Khan said within a time-frame of two years, people would be able to move into the houses with ownership rights.
He expressed satisfaction that regular negotiations of the government with private banks, Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) and relevant bodies resulted into an agreement on mortgage financing as the key factor in materialization of the project.
He said existing impediments in acquiring bank loans would be sorted out and the procedure would be simplified in consultation with banks.
The prime minister said in near future the CDA would be working on a plan for development of all slum areas in the capital with provision of modern amenities including that of sanitation and sewerage. He said the slum dwellers will be given houses on proprietary rights.
He said he will soon perform groundbreaking of peri-urban housing society for the farmers.
He said the mortgage facility has been introduced to provide loans to the people on easy installments so that they could construct the houses. He said negotiations are continuing with the banks to remove any impediments.
The prime minister maintained that the banks in Pakistan are not in the habit of giving loans to people without influence. "People still face obstacles when approaching banks for small loans to make a house," the premier told the audience, explaining that negotiations between the government and banks are still under way.
The Prime Minister regretted that the economy was mismanaged in the past. He said such loans were taken in the past which instead of wealth creation further increased the burden of loans.
Imran Khan said that they had repaid Rs35,000 billion in loans since they came into power, emphasizing that there was huge need of wealth creation.
Imran Khan said the government was focusing on wealth creation projects to retire the country's debt. He said these include Ravi City and Central Business District in Lahore whilst negotiations are being held with the Sindh government to develop the Bundal Island. He was confident that these projects will attract massive investments.
He said the projects to be executed under Naya Pakistan Housing Programme will also uplift 30 industries allied with the construction sector. Imran Khan expressed satisfaction over increased activity in the construction industry. He pointed out that the cement sale remained at record level last year while growth has also been witnessed in the tax collection which indicates the business activity has increased in the country.
Imran said it is the first time that the country's textile industry is witnessing a record boom. He said the small and medium enterprises will also be uplifted to increase their share in the economy.
Imran said we have envisaged upgradation of railway line from Karachi to Peshawar. He said negotiations are also continuing to take the train service to the Central Asian States to promote regional trade.