PM to take ownership of 5m housing scheme


–Khan’s personal supervision will remove any administrative bottlenecks in mega project


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday chaired a meeting to review progress on the formulation of a road-map for construction of five million houses across the country.

During the meeting, it was decided that PM Imran will take ownership of the initiative in order to ensure smooth implementation and remove any administrative bottlenecks.

“Provision of five million houses equipped with all basic facilities, and regularisation of slums is the foremost priority of the government and a part of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) manifesto,” PM Imran said.

The prime minister further said, “Construction of affordable housing initiative would not only provide shelter to the homeless but would generate huge economic activity by providing millions of jobs and will boost all linked industries of the housing sector.”

He continued, “Besides the availability of vast state lands across the country, utilisation of prime lands of the state guest houses and other government-owned accommodations/properties in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone could generate billions of rupees for the five million housing programme.”

PM Imran also directed the committee to finalise its recommendations regarding formulation of a comprehensive plan of action with delineated timelines within two weeks for early roll out of the housing programme.

Earlier, the housing secretary briefed the premier about the current situation vis-à-vis the annual demand and shortfall in the housing sector.

He also identified various options regarding ensuring availability of land, raising required finances through different modes and undertaking administrative and legal measures needed to encourage the private sector and foreign investors towards the initiative.

Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited a renowned real estate tycoon in the United Kingdom for consultation on the initiative to build five million cost-effective housing.

Aneel Musarrat, a Manchester-based tycoon, on Monday arrived in Islamabad along with Sahibzada Amir Jehangir. He is one of the richest men in the UK and is considered a close friend of Imran Khan.

He is expected to hold consultation with the prime minister on the construction of the cost-effective houses, and also on new policies for overseas Pakistanis. However, Musarrat is not expected to receive any contracts or investment but rather he will be consulted due to his expertise.

Imran Khan had previously hinted to seek Musarrat’s assistance.

Last week, PM Imran constituted a committee under the housing and works secretary to devise a comprehensive and coherent plan of action for construction of five million affordable houses.

Imran Khan had said that the construction of low-cost and affordable five million houses was the foremost priority of the government, which would not only address housing issues of the people especially in major cities but would also promote economic growth and create job opportunities.

The plan of action would be prepared in consultation with relevant experts and representatives of concerned departments. It will take into account all aspects including the legal framework, availability of the land and raising of required resources for smooth implementation of the project.