ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the government is aware of the housing needs of the people and is particularly focusing on the provision of housing facility to the low income groups in all parts of the country. The Prime Minister said this while chairing a high-level meeting on the working of the Ministry of Housing and Works during his visit to the Ministry on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister said the government is committed to providing housing to poor and needy and directed that Prime Minister’s Housing Programme aiming at ensuring the availability of affordable houses to middle and lower middle classes be implemented on priority basis.
He said the Ministry should focus on reducing gap between the supply and demand of housing units. He said that housing development would also revitalize economic activity in the country as 40 industries are believed to be directly linked with this sector.
The Prime Minister formed a Committee headed by the Federal Minister for Housing and Works with Advisor to PM on Interior, Chief Commissioner Islamabad, IG Islamabad and Chairman CDA as its members to pursue vacation of more than 400 housing units in Islamabad which are being occupied by unauthorized occupants.
The Prime Minister directed for a coordinated effort by the concerned ministries, CDA as well as provincial governments for creating Land Bank for the Prime Minister’s Housing Programme as well as for launching housing programme in their areas of jurisdiction.
He also directed the concerned Ministries for the provision of trunk infrastructure by the controlling Ministries at the boundaries of housing projects to facilitate low income group under Prime Minister’s Housing Programme. The Prime Minister gave approval for enhancing the existing revolving fund of the Housing Ministry. He directed for close liaison and cooperation between CDA, FGEHF and PHA.
The Prime Minister asked the Ministry of Housing to encourage joint venture projects with private sector as well as multinational companies. He also directed the Housing Ministry to undertake joint ventures with Defence Housing Authority and Army Welfare Trust.
The Prime Minister said that in future the allocation of Parliament Lodges to MNAs may be made according to number of their constituencies. He directed CDA to issue NoC for the construction of high rise apartments in sector G-13, Islamabad.
In his presentation, the Minister for Housing and Works, Mr. Rahmatullah Kakar apprised the Prime Minister that the country is facing a shortfall of 7.9 million houses in the country, while steps are being taken for realizing the government’s vision of constructing one million housing units in the country.
The Prime Minister was informed that MoUs have been singed with various multinational companies from China, Italy, Germany, USA, Canada, UAE and Malaysia for construction of housing facilities in Pakistan under Prime Minister’s Housing Programme.
He was also briefed on the proposed housing schemes of Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA) and Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) in Karachi, Murree, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
The Prime Minister was given a detailed briefing on the current status of ongoing programmes in various parts of the country. The Minister for Housing and Works requested the Prime Minister that Finance Division may be directed to provide sovereign guarantees to ensure investment for Prime Minister’s Housing Programme. Parliamentary Secretary for Housing, Mr. Muzaffar ul Mulk, Secretary Housing, Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, DG PWD, MD PHA, Estate Officer and representatives of CDA also attended the meeting.-SANA