Country facing a shortage of 12.5 million housing units: PM Imran

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday the country is facing a shortage of 12.5 million housing units at present.
Speaking at an event held in connection with signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with regard to the government’s ambitious Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, he said the national kitty has run out of funds owing to loot and plunder in the past.
Under the MoU, the housing project would get financial assistance, the prime minister said, stressing the need for construction of more housing units to meet growing population in the country.
He said, “Most people can’t build their own houses as there is a shortage of 12.5 million housing units in the country at present.”
The housing scheme will begin from Gwadar where fishermen will be provided with low-cost housing units, he announced.
PM Khan said this project will not only help generate employment opportunities but boost the industries associated with construction.
“Constructing five million housing units would be our largest effort,” he said, reiterating the government’s commitment to financially assist the hard-pressed people in getting their own shelter.
He said the government would launch a one-window operation to facilitate those applying for houses under the project.
Meanwhile, talking to UN Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne who called on him in Islamabad on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the government is especially focusing on addressing the issue of malnutrition and adulteration.
Referring to government’s flagship Ehsaas Program, he appreciated technical assistance being provided by the UN agencies.
On the issue of population growth, the Prime Minister noted that the issue of population was connected with primary health care and primary education. Therefore, the government is according priority to these areas.
The Prime Minister said the development of merged tribal areas is another key priority of the present government. He said we have allocated highest ever funds for the uplift of the merged areas.
Imran Khan also highlighted the successes made in billion tree Tsunami project and observed that the this will go a long way towards mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change in the country.
Efforts being made to eliminate polio from the country also came under discussion.
The UN Resident Coordinator appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision and the steps taken by the government in addressing the issues which remained neglected in the past. He especially commended the efforts of the government in tackling the issue of stunted growth, improving health care and the initiative of 10 billion Tree Tsunami and Ehsaas Program.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has telephoned Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discussed matters of bilateral relations and regional situation.
The Prime Minister thanked the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince over releasing 700 Pakistani prisoners. He also thanked UAE for supporting Pakistan on the matter of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The Premier said that Pakistan values its relations with the United Arab Emirates. He said cooperation between the countries is of vital importance.
Earlier on July 26, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed matters related to the Afghan peace process.
Bilateral relations, Kashmir issue and other regional issues also discussed in President Erdogan’s phone call with Prime Minister Imran Khan. PM Imran Khan also invited Erdogan to visit Pakistan and participate in the council session of the Pak-Turk strategic cooperation scheduled in Islamabad this year. – NNI