Ex-FM Shaukat Tarin welcomes PTI govt’s housing plan


Former finance minister (FM) Shaukat Tarin on Thursday welcomed the ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Programme’ launched by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, calling it a much-needed initiative for the country.

During an interview with veteran journalist, analyst and Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami, Tarin explained that mortgage finances were an important part of the GDP of any country. Pakistan’s mortgage finance are currently less than 1pc of the GDP while they are 10pc in India, 80pc in the United States (US) and 36pc in Malaysia, he added.

On concerns raised regarding the funding of housing plan, he said, “The government will go to private banks and use their surplus liquidity for the housing plan.”

He credited the PTI for initially launching the plan for government employees alone, saying that “it will be of zero risk”.

While elaborating that the plan could be further extended to other sections of the society, Tarin said the housing project will not be affected by the IMF bailout.

When asked about the basic issue that causes economic crisis every time in the country, the former finance minister said that a large part of the population didn’t pay the due taxes.

On the IMF bailout package, Tarin was of the view that the PTI government should have had a decisive plan of action to resolve the economic turmoil after winning the poll, arguing that a situation of panic has been created due to the delayed decision.

The former EAC member admitted that it would be wrong to blame the PM Khan-led government for the existing situation of rupee depreciation and debt. “Ishaq Dar’s economics failed to deliver,” he said, adding that the price of oil and commodities had decreased during the tenure of the PML-N government from which no benefit was taken.

“All international currencies were depreciating against dollar and the PML-N wrongly appreciated the rupee value,” he argued.

He suggested that the present government needs to fix the external trade issues and the imbalance of imports and exports, adding that structural reforms are necessary to stablise the economy.

“The US is not supporting Pakistan and this could be a tough programme,” he opined about the PTI government’s IMF bailout package.