Hous­ing project builders to re­ceive le­gal help, pro­tec­tion

Gulf Times - - PAKISTAN -

In­vestors and devel­op­ers in­ter­ested in the Naya Pak­istan (New Pak­istan) Hous­ing Project launched by Prime Min­is­ter Im­ran Khan would be given le­gal pro­tec­tion and full as­sis­tance by the min­istry of law, a se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial has said.

Since it is a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship project, some prospec­tive in­vestors and devel­op­ers are wary of fu­ture lit­i­ga­tion and in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the anti-cor­rup­tion watch­dog, the Na­tional Ac­count­abil­ity Bureau (NAB), which is al­ready prob­ing a sim­i­lar ven­ture, the Ashi­ana hous­ing scheme in La­hore, sources said.

A se­nior of­fi­cial of the min­istry of hous­ing said that the devel­op­ers would be given le­gal as­sis­tance.

The law min­istry is for­mu­lat­ing pro­pos­als to fa­cil­i­tate the in­vestors and the devel­op­ers.

The min­istry has al­ready re­ceived about half-a-dozen of­fers from in­vestors and prospec­tive devel­op­ers from Pak­istan and over­seas, a se­nior of­fi­cial said.

He said that the in­vest­ment of­fers have been re­ceived from Pak­istan, Saudi Ara­bia, Ja­pan, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emi­rates.

At least three groups have pro­posed sev­eral mil­lion dol­lars of in­vest­ment in the projects, while sev­eral oth­ers are seek­ing ap­point­ments to present their pro­pos­als to the prime min­is­ter and the min­is­ter for hous­ing and works, the of­fi­cial said.

The min­istry has also writ­ten to the min­istries of de­fence, rail­ways, re­li­gious af­fairs and ed­u­ca­tion to sub­mit de­tails of gov­ern­ment land avail­able for the Naya Pak­istan Hous­ing Project.

While the re­sponse of all the min­istries is still awaited, the gov­ern­ment is con­fi­dent that it would have enough land avail­able across the coun­try to build 5mn houses, as per the prime min­is­ter’s an­nounce­ment.

Prime Min­is­ter Khan launched Naya Pak­istan Hous­ing Project on Tues­day.

Un­der the project, 5mn houses would be pro­vided to low-in­come peo­ple across Pak­istan.

Ini­tially, the pi­lot project would be launched in seven cities: Faisal­abad, Sukkur, Quetta, Dera Is­mail Khan, Is­lam­abad, Gil­git, and Muzaf­farabad.

A devel­oper who vis­ited the hous­ing min­istry to present his pro­posal spoke about his plan.

“I have pre­sented a pro­posal to build 10,000 small houses cost­ing be­tween Rs700,000 and Rs1.7mn per unit, ac­cord­ing to their sizes,” said Ma­jor (re­tired) Tahir Ashraf.

How­ever, he also ex­pressed some ap­pre­hen­sions about the project.

“Nor­mally, gov­ern­mentspon­sored hous­ing projects are un­suc­cess­ful as th­ese colonies are de­vel­oped in ar­eas to which res­i­dents have no real con­nec­tion.

“The houses should be built in ar­eas where res­i­dents have rea­sons to stay, like their busi­nesses, jobs or chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion nearby,” he said.

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