PTI Housing Program in Trouble ??

The spirit behind the government’s Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) must be applauded although the project is critical on some basis.

 

Nevertheless, a long delayed essential step is worthy of credit which goes to the Prime Minister for placing affordable housing at the centre of the national policy agenda.

 

The question is: will the plan actually go smoothly without corruption or will it strengthen the widespread inequalities in Pakistan's housing plan?

 

Some sound proposals seem to be included in the plan. The government plans to allocate under-utilized state land for affordable housing. The private sector and the commercial bank lending, for which state land is used as collateral, will finance this construction.

 

 But the problem is that the total costs of the project are $180,000 billion which is merely 60% of Pakistan's GDP and the banks which are supposed to fund the bulk of the scheme currently lack the liquidity to do so, according to figures quoted in the media by government representatives. Since June 2018, Rs 12.7 billion ($ 95 billion) in deposits are available to all Pakistani banking sectors.

 

The ambitious and somewhat unrealistic scale of the initiative has understood much of the debate so far, 5 million homes cost $ 180 billion over five years.

 

Moreover, in a country where the total private sector loan portfolio does not exceed Rs4.4 trillion ($33bn) and the deposits of the bank remain extremely low, the chances of commercial banks funding housing construction at US$180bn seems unlikely.

 

The NPHP basically proposes to address the housing shortage of Pakistan by inviting private sector investments to be financed by the expansion of the mortgage credit market for new homes.

 

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The key motive for Naya Pakistan is to improve the housing facility for Pakistanis.  Because there is a shortfall of over 10 million houses, and every year we are overloading. The salient trait of this housing is to make housing affordable to low-income people.

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Other than the construction of the houses, the matter of providing gas and electricity is a crucial thing to be considered. Pakistan is an energy-starved country and to provide energy to such million houses would be a challenge. To find the solution, alternate energy methods such as solar and wind can be considered as another source of power.  Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) can be taken into consideration for cooking. These methods could have a positive impact on the project.

 

With positivity, it will not just provide residence but also will provide millions of jobs if the project is successful. All things aside, it should be noted that this is a long-term project and will take time more than five years to complete, that's why it is needed that the project will be secured by some law so that next government can carry this rather than rolling it back.

 

Regardless of the success or failure of the project, PTI's government will do this nation a lot of goods by maintaining the transparency and corruption of this scheme, which was always an issue in the past. Political leaders have suffered and been confronted by corruption in mega-projects like this.

 

1987 marked the start of the ' Apni Basti ' project to build 130,000 low-cost houses, which former Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo had initiated and ended up with the construction of just 35,000 houses. The scheme had several mistakes, including bad places, poor prices, lack of basic amenities, and, of course, the end of the term of Junejo.

 

The leading example is Shahbaz Sharif's investigation and arrest because he allegedly involved in the housing scheme named as Ashiyana. The PTI government does not want Imran Khan to go through the corruption trial five years from now, because of its anti-corruption narrative.

 

The PTI government argued that Junejo was failed because construction was started without the groundwork of how much was the demand, but this thing would not be done here because demand will be evaluated first in the shape of forms. More of this, Junejo’s govt took responsibility for construction and was affected by the uncleared dues. This will not be the case in a new scheme because payment of the construction will be paid by the banks or non-bank financial institutions who willing will finance this scheme.

 

Builders and developers in Pakistan have built a large number of private-sector housing schemes, this is now a test for the government to build low-cost housing projects on government-supplied land. Its best example can be seen as a development of Gulshan-e-Jauhar and its related areas.

 

 If the private sector solely can build houses and convert deserts into developed land then the private-public partnership can do things best. If everything goes to plan as is told by officials then people can see a decent living facility at low cost.

 

No doubt, PTI government taking a step while looking at the past and learned things that caused the failure of such projects but no on one can see the future. It would be a great project if go smoothly without corruption.

 

Besides developing financing opportunities and increase the creation of housing loans, new financial regulations will be established. It will also seek to create jobs and stimulate supplementary industries such as construction.


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