New master plans of all big cities to be prepared: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that new master plans of all the major cities of Pakistan will be prepared to prevent the unplanned spread of urbanisation and to protect nature.

In a televised briefing on Thursday, he said that the unplanned spread of cities can create food security problems for Pakistan in future if this practice is continued unabated.

The premier said that economic activities of around Rs1,500 billion will be started in Punjab alone and will generate around 250,000 jobs as a result of the massive package announced by the government for the construction sector.

He added that so far, 186 construction projects have been registered on the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) portal, while work on projects worth Rs163 billion has already begun.

PM Imran said that banks have reserved Rs378 billion until December 2021 to support the construction sector. He added that a subsidy of Rs30 billion will be provided to low-income households, enabling them to get their own house under the affordable housing scheme.

He further said that loan subsidies will be available on houses of five Marla and above at an interest rate of five and seven per cent, respectively. He added that a grant of Rs300,000 will be given to first 100,000 houses.

The premier said that an automated approval system has been introduced in the federal capital, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) for the speedy approval to start a housing project.

He said that land digitisation in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad will be completed by August next year. Furthermore, records of state land in these cities is also being completed on a priority basis.

The government will fully back the construction sector and encourage wealth creation so that we can generate jobs for our youth and pay back our debt, PM Imran said.

He said that it is a good sign that record sale of cement and steel has been witnessed, which shows boom in the construction sector.

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