He inaugurated a low-cost housing project in Lahore
The upcoming two weeks are very important in our battle against the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Imran Khan said.
While addressing the inauguration ceremony of a low-cost housing scheme in Lahore, the premier said that Pakistan was blessed in the first two Covid-19 waves but the third wave of the virus has proven to be deadly.
“If the government hadn’t increased oxygen capacities at hospital, the country would have seen a fate similar to that in India,” he said and urged people to wear masks no matter what.
The PM is in Lahore on a one-day visit. He launched a peri-urban low cost housing scheme at more than 10 locations across the city.
Under the project, small residential colonies comprising between 100 and 500 houses will be built in the outskirts of cities and towns in Punjab. They will be constructed in collaboration with the Punjab government and the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority
According to the prime minister, the Pakistani elite have been controlling its resources since independence. We have seen good education, jobs and healthcare facilities go to the rich because they can afford it, he pointed out. “You will find only poor people in jail because they can’t afford to hire expensive lawyers to fight their cases.”
The PM recalled that Lahore was once known for its infrastructure but as unplanned settlements in the city grew, and “good” locations such as Defence and Bahria Town were taken over by the rich.
“No one thought about the poor and their housing,” he said highlighting that due to this today more than half of Karachi comprises shanty towns where there’s no electricity, water or a proper sewerage system.
The Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme seeks to provide housing to the common man. To government officers, mechanics and farmers. “This is important because no society can flourish unless the poor segments are facilitated,” PM Khan said. When we were working on low-cost housing, we faced a number of problems of which the biggest was the foreclosure law.
In India mortgage financing is at 10%. In USA and Britain it’s even more. But in Pakistan the finance rate is only 0.2%. This means that 70,000 people have a 1% chance of receiving loans.
The premier said that the government has brought banks on board now and are training them. We will provide subsidised land at subsidised rates so that you can buy houses. “This will bring a revolution not just in housing but in other sectors too such as construction.”
PM Khan added that another important things that help a country flourish is a strong justice system. We are trying to do this today and this is why unions such as the Pakistan Democratic Movement have come out against us. The movement has only been made so that these politicians can get NROs, he added.