ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has recently promulgated three ordinances for promotion of housing schemes in the country and one about establishment of Naya Pakistan Housing Authority (NPHA) will be laid before the National Assembly on Monday (today).
According to the agenda of the lower house, Minister for Housing and Works Tariq Bashir Cheema will lay the Naya Pakistan Housing Authority Ordinance, 2019, before the lower house as required by clause (2) of Article 89 of the Constitution.
Dawn has learnt that three authorities are striving hard to turn into reality the dream of Prime Minister Imran Khan to build five million housing units in the country under the government’s flagship programme called Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP).
President Dr Alvi promulgated three separate ordinances that formed two authorities — Naya Pakistan Housing Authority (NPHA) and Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) and the third one is related to foreclosure laws that would help encourage banks for house financing.
The government did not opt to lay the bills in the parliament because of fear that opposition, which is in majority in Senate, would never let such bills passed in the parliament.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Secretary General Farhatullah Babar said the government should lay the ordinance in both houses of parliament, but first in the house whose session came first.
Under the 18th constitution amendment (article 89) the life of an ordinance is 240 days as first it is passed for 120 days and then it can be extended for one time for another 120 days, but in case of extension it requires approval of any of the two houses of the parliament.
Naya Pakistan Housing Authority
The NPHA was established to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan’s target of building five million housing units in the country in five years. The purpose of setting up the authority is to avoid dependence on other development authorities like Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Islamabad, Lahore Development Authority (LDA), Karachi Development Authority (KDA) for acquisition of land.
Now the NPHA can acquire land directly from land holders where the housing project is planned. NAPHA will deal with the housing projects being executed or to be launched solely for general public.
Federal Government Employee Housing Authority
Formerly known as Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF), it has become an authority called FGEHA. The sole purpose of turning the foundation into the authority is also removal of hurdle in acquisition of land.
Besides NPHA and FGEHA, Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA) is at present supplementing government efforts for construction of five million houses in five years.
“The basic idea behind establishment of two new authorities is to avoid dependence of other development authorities and metropolitan corporations for one of the gigantic tasks in housing projects — acquisition of land. Now the housing authorities are authorised to acquire land on their own through different modes of land acquisition,” a senior official of FGEHA said.
At present, FGEHA is playing a major role under the government’s flagship programme of NPHP. The mandate of FGEHA is to provide shelter to federal government employees. It has a target of building and carving out 250,000 housing units/plots mainly for those who had already applied and had been registered with FGEHF.
The authority has not only revived its stalled housing projects in the federal capital, but has signed memorandums of understanding with governments of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Sindh, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Islamabad.
The official of the authority believed that after acquiring the status of authority, his organisation would overcome all hurdles including the land acquisition and would revive all its stalled projects in the federal capital and other places.
Foreclosure laws: One of the ordinances is related to foreclosure laws under which banks will have powers to confiscate or auction the property if their owners fail to pay back housing loans to the banks.
Without this law, it is said that banks were reluctant to give loans for housing with a fear that the borrowers will not pay back the loans within the stipulated time.
Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2019