ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan, while observing that people have been difficulties in seeking loans under Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, has instructed banks to simplify the process to facilitate the masses.
PM Imran, who is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, was virtually addressing the National Bank of Pakistan’s (NBP) telethon on low cost housing held on Sunday.
Simultaneously aired on Pakistan Television and different private channels, the telethon was attended by Senator Shibli Faraz, Chairman of Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority Lt. General (r) Anwar Ali Hyder, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir, NBP President Arif Usmani and SBP Executive Director Samar Hasnain.
The PM said that the NBP, being the premier bank of the country, should also instruct its staffers to facilitate the loan applicants, observing that the bank employees were not in habit of extending easy loans to cashless people.
He said that although it is a regular practice in European countries, it is for the first time in Pakistan’s history that salaried individuals are being given a chance to own a house.
“Once people start building homes, there will a boom in the construction industry which will bring about a revolutionary change in Pakistan. The construction of homes, besides revenue generation, will lead to job creation,” he said.
“Our country is in deep debt. We have to look for ways to add to our nation’s wealth,” the premier added.
Earlier on Friday, PM Imran Khan had decided to increase the scheme’s loan limit by 100 per cent.
The decision was announced by PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan, who added on Twitter that discounted markup rate has also been reduced to 3pc and 5pc.
Earlier on March 18, the premier had allotted 1,008 flats and 500 houses for poor workers and widows on low-cost mortgages in a bid to uplift the weaker segments of society.
The prime minister said the rent paid would be converted into installments of the total cost of the house or flat under the mortgage system, in addition to ensuring that the markup rate does not exceed 5pc.
He assured to allocate more funds for the housing programme with the increase in the revenue of the government so that the working and the salaried class could build their houses.
Constructed in Zone V of the federal capital and around 15 minutes drive from the Islamabad Expressway, the multi-storey units will provide a decent living for small families with electricity, natural gas, and water supply. Each housing unit comes with a living room, two bedrooms a kitchen, and a bath.
It is pertinent to mention here that around 3,000 labourers had got themselves registered, while 1,500 of them were able to obtain housing on the basis of an open ballot, in the first phase.
Under the project, disabled persons will also be provided with housing units.
The project aims at providing accommodation to people with an annual income of less than Rs500,000.