Govt urged to include private sector in housing project

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A mix of occupied houses and houses under construction are seen in Bahria Town on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan March 16, 2016. To match Interview PAKISTAN-PROPERTY/TYCOON REUTERS/Caren Firouz

KARACHI: Builders and developers in Karachi claimed that the dream of Prime Minister Imran Khan of building five million units could not be fulfilled without the involvement of private sector, as the government alone could not construct one million houses in a year.

Builders and developers in Karachi demanded the federal government to give a special status to the housing project, in line with the status given to Gwadar Port and other export processing zones in Pakistan, so that the builders can get tax incentives.

“The prime minister’s decision to build five million houses will definitely boost more than 40-42 different industries. We laud the PM’s decision as there was a need of 400,000 units per year and shortage of 2.4 million houses,” an official of the builders and developers said.

The main idea of low-cost housing scheme was introduced by Arif Jeewa, a prominent builder and businessman of Islamabad and also Chairman of Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD). He, before the election 2018, informed Imran Khan regarding a proposal of one million low-cost houses and after six months deliberations, PM Imran Khan himself announced to build five million affordable houses during his five years tenure.

The members of ABAD are looking towards the government to get their share from the five million houses, but are reluctant to work with the government following the failure of the Ashiana Housing Scheme in Punjab. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) are investigating the alleged corruption in that scheme.

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