ISLAMABAD: The government has made it mandatory for the international companies working under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme to make use of locally produced raw material as well as Pakistani labourers. No company will be allowed to procure labour or raw material from abroad.
The federal government has also decided to extend the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme to the cities of Islamabad and Quetta. The decisions were taken in a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee for Housing and Construction, headed by Senator Mir Kabir Muhammad Shahi.
Presenting a briefing, Minister for Housing and Works Tariq Bashir Cheema said local and foreign companies will be invited to invest in the programme while work on the Naya Pakistan Housing Authority is also under way.
He said work on housing projects in Islamabad and Quetta under the scheme will commence by the end of March. Houses will not be given for free under the programme and people will have to pay for them but the housing units are meant for low-income families.
“We face a shortage of 10 million houses. We have directed the State Bank that the loan base being increased should include 5 per cent for the housing sector. Many private and public sector companies in China have contacted Pakistan for investments in the low-cost housing project,” he said.
The PM’s Task Force on Housing Chairman Zaigham Rizvi said an information depository will be set up so that it is known how much land is available in different areas. The country currently faces an acute shortage of residential societies.
He said 12 cities in Punjab have been finalised for the housing project while a task force has been set up for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The housing ministry told the participants that housing projects are also being launched in the Kuchlak area of Balochistan.
A member called for a plan for commercial areas of the housing projects. He said Kuchlak area has a dam and the housing society may be affected if water overflows from the dam. The ministry officials said the dam has never been filled to its capacity and effective arrangement will be made for that.
Senator Anwar Lal Dean strongly criticised the presence of a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) flag during the briefing of Naya Pakistan Housing Project and said it was the briefing of a Senate committee and not a party meeting.
Tariq Cheema said such a thing will not occur in the future as it was in fact not a party meeting. Chairman of the committee also agreed that showing a party flag during the briefing was inappropriate. Anyone who brings party flag in future will face action, he said.
The meeting also discussed the matter pertaining to the death of six members of a family at Qasr-e-Naz in Karachi. The housing minister said those responsible for the incident will see punishment