ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan was apprised on Thursday that economic activities worth over Rs1.76 trillion will be generated in the country owing to an investment of Rs353 billion in the housing sector alone in Punjab.
“Investment of Rs353.43bn in the construction sector projects in Punjab would generate economic activities worth Rs1,767.15bn and create 315,678 job opportunities,” an official told a meeting on housing and construction presided over by the prime minister.
Mr Khan was briefed on the promotion of construction activities in the country and the fast pace process of approvals by the provincial governments.
Punjab Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafiq told the meeting that applications for construction on an area of 87.03 million square feet in the province, including Lahore (38 per cent) and Metropolitan Corporation (22pc), Rawalpindi (18pc), Faisalabad (11pc) and Multan (10pc), had so far been received.
Imran says digitisation of land record need of the hour; orders placement of data of housing societies on websites of development authorities
The meeting was told that with the approval of construction on 41.07m square feet so far, construction activities in all districts of Punjab were going on. The chief secretary said that 11,349 of the 17,692 applications received at the portal regarding construction had been approved.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary informed the meeting that out of 3,634 applications (manual and online) received so far, 3,158 applications (87pc) had been approved. Only 9pc applications were returned due to various reasons and 4pc were under process of approval.
The meeting was told that the applications received so far for construction on an area of 10.854m square feet in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would generate economic activities worth Rs190bn in the province.
The KP chief secretary said with a 66pc increase in receipt of applications from October 15, 2020 till date, approvals (62pc) and volume of construction area (128pc), the expected income generation and employment opportunities had also witnessed an increase of 128pc.
The Sindh chief secretary told the meeting that a total of 22 construction projects had been approved in the province.
The prime minister directed chief secretary to expedite the process of approvals so as to promote construction activities and the resultant economic momentum in Sindh.
The prime minister was also briefed on digitisation of land record in different provinces by the Survey General of Pakistan (SGP). The meeting was told that data of state lands in all 36 districts of Punjab, including data of masawis (village maps), had been provided to the SGP. Tax data of 730,000 properties in Lahore, including those of Auqaf (trust), has also been provided.
The KP chief secretary told the meeting that data of state lands in all districts of the province had been provided to the SGP.
The prime minister was informed by the SGP that the Sindh government was yet to provide such data. When asked by the prime minister, the Sindh chief secretary said the matter had been placed before the provincial cabinet and the data would be provided after its approval.
The prime minister said digitisation of land records, including that of state land, was the need of the hour. He said the non-provision of data would strengthen the impression in the masses that illegal occupation of state lands and qabza mafia (land grabbers) had the backing of influential personalities and, therefore, it was very important to dispel such impression.
The prime minister directed all the data of state lands be provided to the SGP so as to digitise the land record. He said the placement of data of all approved and unapproved housing societies at websites of the development authorities concerned should be ensured. Besides this, he added, a central data bank should also be established at the provincial level so that details of such projects could be made available to people, especially overseas Pakistanis.
Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2021