IT is heartening to see that the prime minister’s Naya Pakistan housing scheme for the salaried people has started taking shape with the help of soft loans from private banks. It is really a good scheme for all those who cannot afford to buy land otherwise. But one major issue being faced by the people is that the banks have put a precondition that loan will be given only to those who will be the first-time owner of a plot of land.
It means the plot is to be purchased from a builder and not from a person under whose possession the property is. Now the problem is that urban areas, like Qasimabad and Latifabad, have no such lands nearby and the builders’ plots are very far from the main centres. And while there are many people who want to sell their land, one is unable to purchase from them because of the banks’ precondition.
According to the banks, it is the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) policy and they can do nothing in this regard. The prime minister and the SBP governor should look into the matter and relax the rules for loans so that the salaried persons may purchase land in a location of their choice.
Prof Inayatullah Rustamani
Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2021