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ISLAMABAD: People wait for their turn in front of the Nadra office on Monday.— Mohammad Asim / White Star
ISLAMABAD: People wait for their turn in front of the Nadra office on Monday.— Mohammad Asim / White Star

ISLAMABAD: The registration process for the PTI government’s Naya Pakis­tan Housing programme kicked off on Monday, drawing a massive public response.

Long queues of aspiring applicants were witnessed outside the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) centres on the first day for submission of forms.

According to Nadra, the forms can be submitted during the next 60 days including Saturdays and Sundays.

This is the first phase of the ambitious housing project under which five million houses are to be built across the country over the next five years. People aspiring to own houses in seven districts of the country — Sukkur, Quetta, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Swat, Islamabad and Faisalabad — have been asked to apply in the first phase.

In the federal capital, the registration forms can be submitted at Nadra’s mega centre in Blue Area, Deputy Commissioner Office G-11/4 and Tehsil Office I-10/3, whilst in other districts forms can be submitted at the deputy commissioner offices.

Candidates will be required to submit Rs250 along with the form, and can also submit a photocopy of the form, provided they have given “complete and clear information”.

Only one person per family will be eligible to apply for the scheme, and preference will be given to candidates who do not own property in Pakistan.

The programme shall be expanded to other districts in a phase-wise manner after Dec 21, 2018, as per the recommendations of Prime Minister’s Task Force for the scheme.

It is designed to provide affordable housing to the common citizens of Pakistan. Preference shall be give to families (husband, wife and dependent children) where no member owns a house. The purpose of the registration drive is to establish the nature of housing demand, the precise need of the people and their affordability bracket.

Minister of State for Interior, Shehryar Khan Afridi, who inaugurated the Naya Pakistan Housing Authority registration centre at Nadra’s mega centre in Blue Area, said the target of government was to ensure provision of five million affordable houses for underprivileged classes during the next five years.

Talking to reporters, the minister expressed the confidence that the programme would not only help realise dream of a shelter for the poor, but also generate employment opportunities, besides attracting local and foreign investment and stimulating around 40 construction related industries.

Mr Afridi said the poor were deprived of their basic rights in past, but the PTI government would ensure protection of their rights.

The minister said the country needs around 10 million housing units, adding that there was a need to build at least half a million low cost housing units each year.

He said the masses would be facilitated through one-window services, adding the government has started this much awaited mega housing project within its 100-day plan.

Answering a question, Shehryar Afridi said the PTI had secured more than double votes in 2018 elections as compared to the 2013 polls.

On October 11, Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the ambitious housing scheme which envisages construction of five million affordable houses for under privileged segments of the society during next five years.

He had disclosed that a 60-day pilot project would commence from today in coordination with Nadra in seven districts to assess the demand and payment capacity for affordable houses. He said that the housing programme would bring long-due prosperity to the country, adding that at least 40 other industries connecting to the housing industry would be set in motion as soon as construction for the project started in urban as well as rural areas. “The target of this [plan] is the common man, who could not even think about owning a house,” he had said.

The National Database Registration Authority issued the form on its website with all required details needed for registration. The aspirants can download forms and can submit them with respective housing programme offices till December 21, 2018.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2018

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