ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted a committee/panel to suggest recommendations for smooth implementation of the PM’s Housing Programme aimed to build five million housing units for middle and lower income segments in next five years through the private sector.
Provision of affordable housing to working classes across Pakistan is one among 36 basic promises made by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in its manifesto. A taskforce to suggest ways and means to implement this ambitious plan has already been created.
On Monday, PM Imran chaired a meeting in this regard to hold a detailed discussion on various international models and road-map for addressing the issue of housing.
A committee headed by housing secretary has also been formed to devise a comprehensive and coherent plan of action in consultation with relevant experts and representatives of departments concerned.
“The committee will take into account all aspects including the legal framework, availability of land bank and raising of required resources for smooth implementation of the project,” said a statement issued by the PM office following the meeting.
This committee would submit its initial recommendations to the Prime Minister within one week. Senior officers and officials of the Ministry of Housing and Works attended the meeting besides representatives of Law Ministry.
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“Construction of low-cost and affordable houses is the foremost priority of the government. It will not only address growing housing needs of the people especially in the major cities but also promote economic growth and create job opportunities,” PM Imran was quoted as saying during the meeting.
The Prime Minister also emphasised government officers that private sector should be encouraged and maximum facilitation be extended to those who would be partnering with the government in the implementation of five million housing plan.
The issue of slums also came under discussion on the occasion. The prime minister asked officials to work out a comprehensive mechanism for regulating slums without dislocating people and ensuring provision of all civic amenities to the people in those areas.
PM Imran also chaired another important meeting to chalk out a plan of action by introducing necessary amendments to existing laws in a bid to curb smuggling and transfer of money through illegal means including Hundi and Hawala.
He was briefed by the high-ups of the Ministry of Commerce and the Federal Board of Revenue on billion of rupees losses the country’s economy faces due to illegal transfer of funds.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, State Minister for Interior Sheharyar Afridi, Advisor to PM on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, Advisor on Accountability Shehzad Akbar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, and secretaries of Finance, Interior, and Commerce.
The meeting decided to make existing laws potent to curtail this illegal practice more effective by making necessary amendments.
A committee headed by Attorney General of Pakistan and comprising of officials of the Federal Board of Revenue, Federal Investigation Agency, State Bank of Pakistan and Customs Department has been formed with a mandate to review existing anti-smuggling laws and suggest amendments to make such laws more effective.
The committee will present its report to the Prime Minister in a week.
On the occasion, the PM also directed the Interior Ministry to present recommendations regarding a robust and organised course of action with regard to administrative steps within a week.
(This news/article originally appeared in The Express Tribune on September 4th, 2018)