Thursday Apr 08, 2021
Banks in Pakistan are not in the habit of giving loans to people without influence, says Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He was speaking on Thursday at the groundbreaking ceremony of Farash Town apartments in Islamabad, which is a housing project under the Naya Pakistan Housing programme.
The apartments are expected to be completed within the next two years.
"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.
He spoke about going towards automation to make processes, such as going to the Capital Development Authority to get permission for construction or house maps approved, easier.
PM Khan appreciated military engineering group Frontier Works Organisation's (FWO) work on the housing project, mentioning FWO's contribution in completing infrastructure work at Kartarpur Corridor in "record time".
The Prime Minister said katchi abadis (slums) are increasing across Pakistan because people don't have enough money to make houses. "Nobody has ever thought of the people living in slums," he said, adding that around 40% of Karachi is covered in slum area.
In Islamabad, too, slum areas are spreading. As part of this apartment project, the premier said 600 people living in slums will be given flats.
He hoped for everyone living in slum areas to one day own a house of their own.
The loan instalments we have to pay increase every year, he regretted, saying that we have unfortunately been unable to properly manage our economy.
"We have taken several loans, which instead of creating wealth to help pay back loans are actually increasing our loans," he said, adding that the effort now is that there is wealth creation in the country.
He said the Naya Pakistan Housing project is linked to 30 other industries and so it will help create wealth in the long run.
Housing will generate economic activity in Pakistan and eventually also increase tax collection and wealth creation, he said, explaining that all these factors will help ease the burden of loans on Pakistan.
Back in October 2020, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced that the government will be providing a facility for the construction and purchase of new houses to the people of Pakistan.
"This facility will allow all individuals, who will be constructing or buying a new house for the first time, to avail the bank’s financing at subsidised and affordable markup rates," a statement from the SBP said.
This facility will be provided with the administrative support of the State Bank of Pakistan as the executing partner of the Government of Pakistan and Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA), the statement added.
More information about the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme can be found here.