Govt spokesperson found ‘clueless’ about funds for housing project


New spokesperson appointed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on economy and energy issues Dr Farrukh Saleem didn’t look very convincing during his appearance on a current affairs show where he was supposed to clarify the questions related to the announcement of ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Programme’.

Saleem – an economist, financial analyst who also writes columns for an English-language newspaper – was ‘trapped’ when news anchor Shahzeb Khanzada inquired how the federal government will fund 50 million housing units during their five-year tenure, in view of the lack of funds kept in the national exchequer as well as private banks.


The spokesperson, while giving examples of Turkey and India, initially advocated that the government will subsidise the project through private investment.

However, when the host elaborated that there were insufficient resources for mortgage and loans in the private banks to meet the required target, Saleem took a different line and stated that the government will recover the “looted money from money laundering and tax evasion stashed abroad”.

It was noticeable that Khanzada, by getting all facts and figures straight, unsettled the guest who appeared to be unaware of the government’s roadmap of financing of the housing project.

A number of Twitter users responded to the video and shared that they were not convinced by arguments of the government’s new spokesperson.

“Farrukh (Saleem) failed to give concrete answer to SKZ’s questions about financing, rate of interest and mortgages,” columnist Imtiaz Alam tweeted.

This didn’t go well for the govt’s brand new spokesmen for economy. Shahzeb Khanzada destroyed him with a simple question: how do you intend to pay for the $180bn housing initiative?

Economic analyst Khurram Husain was of the view that the host “destroyed” Saleem “with a simple question: how do you intend to pay for the $180bn housing initiative?”


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