Growth in construction activities to strengthen economy: PM

Premier says country's coastal belt feasible to attract foreign tourism

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that growth in construction activities will strengthen the national economy and provide employment opportunities to the people.

The prime minister said this while chairing a weekly meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction and Development on Friday.

He directed the Punjab government to approve applications for construction as per prevailing laws as soon as possible, besides directing Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to work with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to resolve issues related to the construction sector at the earliest.

The PM also stressed on public awareness regarding the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.

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SBP Governor Reza Baqir informed the meeting that the banks are ensuring provision of facilities to the people for obtaining loans under the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme. Moreover, special desks have been set up at around half of the bank branches in each district across the country, he added.

The Punjab chief secretary briefed the meeting that applications for construction work on 44 million square feet have been received from all over the province and approval for construction on 20 million square feet has been given.

He said commencement of construction work on 44 million square feet in Punjab will start economic activities worth about Rs1 trillion. The chief secretary told the meeting that with the enhancement of construction activity, the consumption of all allied materials like cement, bricks and steel had also increased.

Meanwhile, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary informed the meeting that so far, applications for construction on six million square feet have been received. This will generate Rs100 billion economic activity in the province, he added.

A representative of Bank Al Habib informed the meeting that they have so far approved a loan worth Rs6 billion for the construction industry.

Special assistants to the Prime Minister Malik Amin Aslam and Shahbaz Gill, Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, federal and provincial secretaries and senior officers also attended the meeting.

‘COASTAL TOURISM’

Separately, while chairing a meeting of the working groups of Pakistan Island Development Authority and Ravi Urban Development Authority on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan’s coastline is feasible for urban constructions of international standard and attract foreign tourism.

He said that the country’s coastal line has the capacity to create enormous opportunities for foreign investment. The Ravi City Project will not only help reduce population pressure on big cities like Lahore, but also introduce new dimensions of urban planning, he added.

The premier said that big projects will have a positive impact on the country’s economy and the lives of the common people, adding that these projects will help develop local industry and create new job opportunities.

The PM was briefed that Ravi City and the urban centres on islands will be constructed in line with the principles of green city for the first time in the history of Pakistan.

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