ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan was informed on Friday that economic activities worth Rs1 trillion had been generated in Punjab through initiation of several housing and construction projects.
According to the Prime Minister Office, Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik told a meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Housing and Construction presided over by the prime minister that construction work started on 44 million square feet of land in the province generated Rs1tr economic activities. He said that due to housing activities a significant rise in sale of cement, bricks and steel had been witnessed.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary informed the meeting that economic activities amounting to Rs100 billion had started in the province as applications seeking construction activities on six million square feet of land had been received.
Imran reviews progress on Ravi, island projects, sets up youth council
The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to expedite the process of approval of applications regarding housing and construction under the prescribed laws. He asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to work with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to resolve problems confronting investors in the housing sector.
The prime minister emphasised the need for creating awareness among the public about Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme. “Progress in housing sector will boost economy and provide jobs to the people,” he added.
The SBP governor said that 50 per cent branches of banks in the country had established special desks for house loans.
Bank Al Habib informed the meeting that it had so far disbursed Rs6bn housing loans.
Ravi, island projects
Chairing a separate meeting to review progress on Lahore Ravi City and Karachi Bundle Island development projects, the prime minister said Pakistan’s coastal line was not only ideal for tourism and urban development of international standards but also had the potential of creating numerous investment opportunities.
He said the Ravi project would not only reduce burden of growing population in Lahore but also create new vistas of urban planning. “These big projects will bring positive impact on the life of people,” he said, adding that these projects would help boost local industries and create jobs.
The meeting was informed that big international investors had shown interest in both projects as these were not being executed through loans but on private-public partnership. The two projects are being established on the concept and principles of green city.
The Ravi Development Authority chairman informed the meeting that engineering survey of 18,600 acres of land had been completed under which no local would be shifted to another place.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and the Punjab chief secretary attended the meeting via video link.
Later, Power Minister Umar Ayub called on the prime minister and briefed the latter on power and petroleum sectors. He said positive results were coming due to government’s decision to provide electricity to the industries on concessional rates.
Prime Minister Khan expressed satisfaction over the decision and said it was a top priority of the government to facilitate the industrial sector to stabilise the country’s economy.
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar announced on Friday that the prime minister had decided to establish the National Youth Council (NYC) to formulate policies to address the problems confronting young people. The NYC would be chaired by the prime minister himself, he added.
In his message to the youth, the minister said: “It was a good news for them as it would help them formulate policies by their representatives.”
Mr Umar said the prime minister had spent his life in struggle for the betterment and welfare of the youth. The council would consist of 50 youths who would be selected from across the country through a transparent and merit-based process, he added.
“The members of the council along with the prime minister will formulate policies relating to the youth,” he said, adding that the youth had played an important role in the establishment of Pakistan as well as in political struggle of Imran Khan.
The minister asked the youth to apply for the membership of the council through the website of Kamyab Jawan. “Best 50 youths would be selected for membership of the National Youth Council,” he added.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2020