ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has managed to create a "sustainable ecosystem" for the construction of low-cost housing units in the country, said a statement released by Prime Minister's Office on Thursday after a meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction and Development in Islamabad.
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan who launched his administration's flagship Naya Pakistan Housing Program in April 2019 to provide shelter to financially vulnerable families.
Khan said over 70,000 housing projects worth Rs1.4 trillion had been approved in Pakistan, adding it would have an impact of Rs7.3 trillion on the construction industry and help create 1.2 million jobs.
"The meeting was briefed that for the very first time in the history of Pakistan a sustainable ecosystem for low-cost housing has been developed and implemented which has enabled the sector to achieve exponential growth," said the official statement. "The foreclosure law has been implemented in letter and spirit and long-term loans (of up to 20 years) with subsidized markup (as low as only 2 percent) are being given."
The statement added the meeting was also briefed about the transparent and automated system to receive and process applications which had resulted in targeting the needful lower- and middle-income classes.
"The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has achieved huge milestones regarding the provision of low-cost housing to lower and middle-income classes," the prime minister told the participants of meeting. "Our government's biggest challenge was to change the elitist mindset of financial institutions and ensure facilitation of common people in getting loans."
He informed that applications worth Rs7 billion were received every week out of which Rs4 billion were approved and Rs2 billion disbursed, adding that it reflected that the system was working efficiently.
The statement maintained a total of 161,924 low-cost housing units had been approved, out of which 45,191 units were under construction and 20,898 units had been completed.
It said these numbers were significant since the construction sector "was in shambles" before the introduction of government subsidies, foreclosure law and low-cost housing scheme.
The prime minister also directed to complete the projects within their stipulated timeframes and emphasized to further improve the process of low-cost housing unit construction.