ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to soften terms of housing loan so that people can get maximum benefit of the government’s flagship Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) to build their houses.
“I instruct Governor State Bank Reza Baqir and President National Bank Arif Usmani… that banks provide ease to the house loan seekers,” the prime minister said while virtually attending the NAB’s telethon on low cost housing loan on Sunday. The PM is under home quarantine after being tested positive for Covid-19 on March 21.
Mr Khan vowed that the government would give preference to widows and differently-abled persons while implementing the housing programme.
Several callers during the telethon complained about lengthy and complicated process of applying and obtaining house loans under the government’s mortgage financing scheme.
Several callers complain about complicated process to obtain facility
During the telethon, which was second on housing, the prime minister directly talked to the loan seekers after their phone calls were received by the compere of the programme. Simultaneously aired on state-run Pakistan Television and different private channels, the telethon was attended by Senator Shibli Faraz, NPHA chairman retired Lt-Gen Anwar Ali Hyder, SBP Governor Reza Baqir, NBP president Arif Usmani and SBP Executive Director Samar Hasnain.
Mr Khan said it was for the first time in Pakistan that the salaried class or the people with no cash were getting opportunity to have their own houses as the NPHP had been designed in such a way that the beneficiaries currently paying house rent would be using the rent amount to pay housing loan’s installments.
According to details shared by the SBP officials, the beneficiaries of the housing loans would have to pay a monthly installment of Rs6,600 for Rs1 million loan, Rs13,199 for Rs2m loan, Rs19,799 for Rs3m loan, Rs26,398 for Rs4m loan and Rs32,998 for Rs5m loan.
The prime minister said the people across the world like in Europe or USA got their houses through bank loan mortgage system but it had not been a practice in Pakistan as according to the SBP governor only one per cent people in the country built their houses through banks loans.
Prime Minister Khan said that due to the NPHP, national economy would also get a boost. “The country is under debt burden. Wealth creation is a dire need to increase the revenue. Therefore, in all ways, this is an important project for the country,” he added.
The people aspiring to own a house under the prime minister’s pro-poor housing programme, joined the transmission by calling at 0519215595 and the panellists responded to their complaints.
Speaking on the occasion, Senator Faraz said it was the beginning of fulfillment of the dream to develop Pakistan as welfare state.
The SBP governor said the banks had eased out the loaning conditions and to facilitate the applicants, the SBP had standardised the list of documents required for housing loan.
He said the applicants were required to provide a copy of CNIC, two passport sized photos, salary slip in case of a job or copy of rent agreement of a shop or a house to enable the banks to assess their income and fix an installment.
Moreover, the SBP had established 16 offices to register complaints and guide the applicants of the housing loan, he said.
The NPHA chairman said the government had announced extending Rs300,000 subsidy for the construction of each first 100,000 houses to be built under the NPHP.
The NBP president said the people could directly approach him through phone no. 03025567776 in case of any glitch in their loan process.
The SBP executive director said the federal cabinet on March 25 had approved a plan to further ease the process of house loaning. Under the new rules, the amount of loans has been increased and now people can get loan for purchasing a constructed house as well.
Prime Minister Khan has been told he may resume work and build up his work routine over the next few days, Special Assistant to the PM on Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan tweeted on Sunday.
He wrote in a tweet: “PM Imran Khan has made steady clinical recovery from Covid and his lab parameters have remained stable.”
Earlier, the prime minister wished “very happy Holi” to the Hindu community as it celebrates the festival across Pakistan. He said the occasion was a “festival of colours”.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2021