There is a need to design conducive policies to promote climate-resilient houses in Pakistan that can withstand floods, said Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Climate Change, on Thursday at the inaugural session of the First International Housing Expo ‘22 organised by the Ministry of Housing and Works by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
“The recent floods have brought huge devastation to Pakistan, destroying millions of houses and causing a loss of over Rs1.2 trillion. Therefore, it is crucial that the government focus on making new policies to promote environment-friendly projects and green houses that can mitigate the impact of floods and other climate-induced risks,” said the federal minister.
Noting that Pakistan was witnessing growing urbanisation, she said, “In the future, 60% of the population will reside in urban areas. Consequently, it is very important for us to focus on sustainable urbanisation and provide better municipal services in the cities to reduce pressure on urban communities.”
Guest of honour, Senate Deputy Chairman Mirza Muhammad Afridi explained that the construction industry stimulates the economy and emphasised that, “The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the government should make policies in consultation with the private sector to facilitate growth of this important industry.”
“It is the responsibility of the government to provide affordable housing to people but it needs the help of the private sector to achieve this goal,” said Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, Federal Secretary for the Ministry of Housing and Works.
Shallwani added that “Organising the First International Housing Expo ’22, in collaboration with ICCI, on a public-private partnership model is a step in the right direction.”
ICCI President, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari said, “The Capital Development Authority (CDA) should allocate land to ICCI to build housing units, universities and hospitals for traders.”
“ICCI should be given permanent representation in the CDA Board and the Islamabad Citizen Club should be revived urgently,” said Bakhtawari, adding that the expo has provided a good platform to local and international investors to display their housing projects, and that a state-of-the-art Expo Centre should be constructed in Islamabad to organize more expos of this nature.
The event was attended by representatives and ambassadors from Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Spain, and executive members of the business community. The First International Housing Expo ‘22 is scheduled to continue until December 11, 2022.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2022.
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