35,000 new housing units soon in Lahore: Minister

TFD Report

LAHORE: The Provincial Minister for Housing Mian Mahmood ur Rashid said that ground breaking ceremony of 35000 new housing units in Lahore will done by the Prime Minister Imran Khan on 25th December.
He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah presented the address of welcome while Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, former President Muhammad Ali Mian and Executive Committee Members also spoke on the occasion.
The Minister said that construction sector today the lucrative and best for investment. He said that Punjab Government has made major changes in LDA rules and regulations to ease out the businesses. He said that approval from various authorities for a housing scheme was a biggest problems that has been resolved as all NOCs can be availed under one roof at LDA. The department is bound to give approval for a housing plan within 60 days. He said that financing for construction of houses was also a major challenge and banks were not ready to finance these projects. Now State Bank of Pakistan has bounded the banks to allocate 5% of their borrowing for housing sector.
Mian Mahmood ur Rashid said that Punjab government is going to plan a new master plan for Lahore to meet the requirements for 40 years.
He further added that new housing policy has been formulated with the consultation of builders and private sectors.
He further stated that there was no rule for sub-division of commercial properties but now law has been changed. Mian Mahmood ur Rashid said that constructors are being encouraged towards apartment buildings that would not only help overcome shortage of land but would also divide the cost of land and people would be able to have their own apartment at low cost. He said that these projects are being developed on government’s land.
He said that earth breaking ceremony for construction of 35000 apartments in LDA city would be held on December 25th.
The Minister said that Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project is at planning phase and it would be ensured that no industrial unit or residential area is harmed unduly. He said that a project for construction of 50 houses along with a village is well on the way and these houses would be given to the homeless people on easy installments. He said that government cannot cope the challenges alone and support of private sector is a must to achieve the targets of 5 million houses.
LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that inclusion of private sector in the housing and construction sectors would help flourish trade and economic activities. He said that private sector should be facilitated in this regard and hurdles should be removed on priority basis.
He said that as per Government’s estimation, Pakistan is currently facing an overall housing shortage of 11-12 million housing units in Pakistan. The urban housing shortage is estimated to be around 4 million. Since Punjab houses 53% population of the country, so, the housing needs in Punjab are way more than the other provinces.
The LCCI President said that Naya Pakistan Housing Program which aims at completing an uphill task has given some hope to such people who can only dream to have their own house. We would certainly like to know from you about the role of Punjab Housing Task Force in this connection and till date what kind of planning has been done to achieve the desired results within the estimated time frame.
He said that in order to develop the Housing Sector according to the vision of Honourable Prime Minister, the support of the Financial Institutions is quite essential. Currently, the Housing Finance in Pakistan is even less than 1% of GDP while in the regional countries it is around 10%.
LCCI Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry said that more than 50 industries are associated with the construction sector and its development means development of the 50 sub sectors.
Mian Tariq Misbah informed the minister that in a recent meeting with the Governor State Bank, LCCI stressed upon the need of developing a bankable and viable structure for increasing the lending to the Housing Sector.
The LCCI office-bearers said that reservations of the business community on Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project should be removed. They said that reportedly, in the planning stage of this multi-trillion Rupees housing project, the industrial units located in and around this area are being marked. He said that all measures should be taken in consultation with the stakeholders and this affair should be handled with care and responsibility.
LCCI Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry urged the government to ensure safety measures in high rise buildings and departments should be equipped with latest technology.
Former LCCI President Muhammad Ali Mian suggested that date for amnesty scheme for construction sector should be extended.

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