–Urges Pakistanis to avail housing finance from banks
–Says corrupt elements would be punished regardless of how long it takes
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday visited Quetta to inaugurate Naya Pakistan Housing project and offered condolences to the Hazara community.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the premier said that his government was committed to modernising the long-neglected province of Balochistan to bring it on par with the rest of the country.
“The country will develop when the weak segments of the society are cared for by the state,” PM Imran said, adding that no nation can progress “unless the evil of corruption is eliminated”.
The prime minister further said that under the mega housing scheme, five million houses will be built which will provide shelter to the underprivileged segments of the society. “Today, it is nearly impossible for the salaried citizenry to build their own houses,” he observed.
The prime minister also pledged to introduce regulations to bring mortgage culture to Pakistan.
“In other countries, [the number of] people who take out a mortgage to build own houses is quite high [when compared with Pakistan]. A law will be introduced in Pakistan so that mortgages can be taken,” he said.
“[The] State Bank is also encouraging private, commercial banks to disburse more housing loans to their consumers,” he added.
He said that the project of five million houses was to fulfil the dream of those who could not afford to build their own house particularly the salaried and other low-income groups. He said that despite being a basic need, owning a house had become even more difficult with the skyrocketing real estate prices.
He said, unfortunately, in the existing banking system, the loan facilities were limited to the elite class. However, the government was making legislation to extend it to the low-income group. Currently, only 0.2 per cent people in Pakistan availed housing finance against 80-90 per cent in Europe, 30 per cent in Malaysia and 10 per cent in India.
He told the gathering that foreign companies were interested to invest in the housing project that would also boost another 40 linked industries besides creating job opportunities.
The prime minister who earlier unveiled the plaques for construction of 110,000 houses in Quetta and Gwadar including 54,000 units for fishermen, said that instead of awaiting the government jobs, the youngsters should form their own constructions firms.
He directed the Balochistan chief minister to design a master plan of Quetta and allow the vertical construction to discourage the spread of the city.
The prime minister urged the youth to study the principles of Medina state which conquered two superpowers of that time despite being far smaller in size and resources.
The prime minister said that his government wanted to develop Pakistan on the principle of Medina state which featured compassion for the poor and fulfilment of their basic needs including education, health and justice.
He said that during the last 70 years, only the elite class enjoyed all out facilities in Pakistan, including quality education and healthcare. This is for the first time that influential corrupt elements were being arrested, he added.
Talking about the political situation, the premier said that political leaders who had plundered the country during the last decade and burdened the country with excessive debts would be taken to task and made an example.
“How so long it takes, we will get them punished who have done this to the country, just to make them a deterrent for those contesting election in future,” the prime minister said.
He said that Sharif family and Asif Ali Zardari wanted to remove the government out of fear of jail as new facts concerning their corruption were being revealed with every passing day. He said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman wanted to wind up the whole system after he faced defeat in the election.
He assured the gathering that the government would uplift the ignored areas of Balochistan, tribal areas and interior Sindh.
The prime minister said that the country would face tough times for a short period that would follow the good days. He said that starting from his cricketing career to a building cancer hospital and now the politics, he kept up his struggle ignoring all discouraging voices and faced all challenges. He also said that realising the immense potential of Pakistan, the companies from Turkey, Malaysia and China were coming to invest in Pakistan.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the University presented a souvenir to the prime minister. In his address, Federal Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema said that on Balochistan governor’s desire, the university students would also be engaged in the housing project.
He said that on Kuchlak Road, around 4,000 flats would be constructed to accommodate the maximum number of government employees. The Housing Foundation was also building houses for the fishermen in Gwadar, he added.
He said that the target of five million houses was achievable if the leadership was honest and sincere.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan said that the frequent visit of the prime minister to Balochistan manifested his sincerity and seriousness for the resolution of the problems of the people in the province.
He said that the real leaders always formulate policies keeping in view the future needs of the country. He added that soon the government’s policies would come to fruition making the country progress.