ISLAMABAD: After making widespread publicity for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ambitious Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP), the government on Monday revealed that applicants will have to bear 20 per cent of the total cost of their dream house as down payment.
“Every person has to pay 20pc of the cost of the house. The remaining 80pc will be undertaken by the government,” said ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Syed Firdous Shamim Naqvi at a joint press conference with Task Force on Housing chairman Zaigham Rizvi and Punjab Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Mehmoodur Rashid.
It is for the first time the government revealed that applicants will have to pay 20pc of the total cost as down payment. No such announcement had been made by any government quarter since the programme was unveiled by the prime minister soon after taking office.
Task force official says remaining 80 per cent will be undertaken by government
“If the cost of the lowest category house/apartment is Rs3 million, the applicant will have to pay Rs600,000 as down payment,” said Mr Naqvi.
A senior official of the housing ministry, who did not want to be named, told Dawn that 20pc cost of the house would be shared by the applicants.The remaining will be paid by the banks.
Mr Naqvi said that under the NPHP, 5m houses would be constructed — which means a million houses every year.
“According to a survey, 300,000 to 350,000 houses are being built every year in the country and we have to increase that number to 1m,” he said.
Mr Naqvi said the NPHP was based on the mortgage housing system, under which the owner of the house would return the entire cost in 20 years. He said the government had prepared a comprehensive strategy for accomplishing the goal, adding that the government would provide people their own shelter, helping them get rid of rental expenses.
He said that under the programme, new housing authorities would be established in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. “We know that housing is a provincial subject, but the Centre and the provincial governments will work together for the success of the programme.”
Answering a question about the return of mortgage money, he said housing finance was considered the safest form of loans all over the world.
Zaigham Rizvi said former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Yousuf Raza Gilani had also announced housing schemes during their governments, but their level of commitment could be assessed by the fact that they did not convene even a single meeting on the issue.
“On the other hand, Prime Minister Imran Khan has presided over 10 meetings on the housing programme in 60 days,” he added.
Responding to a question, he said that the media should not spread disappointing ideas that the 5m housing programme cannot become a successful endeavour, adding that India had already launched such a plan and it was going well. He said not only in urban centres but houses would also be constructed in rural areas.
In reply to a question, he said the government would also give some relaxation in taxes to the applicants so that they could pay the instalment of their houses more easily.
Speaking on the occasion, provincial minister Mehmoodur Rashid said that in the first phase in Punjab, the project would be implemented in Sialkot, Faisalabad, Lodhran, Chiniot, Bahawalnagar and Jhelum districts as well as Muzaffarabad in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. “Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the first phase of the programme on Jan 1, 2019,” he added.
He said land was available for the project and private developers were taking a lot of interest in the scheme. Mr Rashid said the financial model of the project was currently being prepared.
Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018