ISLAMABAD, Jun 12 (APP):The government has allocated approximately Rs18 billion in 2020-21 for the physical planning and housing sector programmes to be implemented by various ministries, divisions and departments to address the increasing urbanization issues and challenges.
According to Annual Development Plan (ADP), Pakistan has the highest rate of urbanization in South Asia. As per Population Census of 2017, urbanization increased from 32.52 percent to 36.38 percent during 1998 to 2017.
However, based on a modified definition of urban settlements, ratio of urban to rural population could be 40 percent and even higher, therefore, it was estimated that, by 2025, nearly half of the country’s population would be living in cities.
Rapid urbanization was already stretching cities’ resources in the country. The tremendous challenge of absorbing such a massive number of people in urban areas and providing them with shelter, food, employment, healthcare, education, municipal services and recreation facilities was made more difficult given shortage of urban facilities and resources, skilled manpower and good governance.
Despite the challenges, urban areas demonstrate immense economic potential to generate growth in the country.
The federal government also announced relief packages for construction and agriculture sectors and a subsidy of Rs 30 billion under Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme. The provincial governments also announced relief packages for vulnerable people and exemption in taxes.
In addition to this Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) had been established for undertaking Prime Minister’s Programme for construction of five million affordable houses to the general public.
Special relief package for construction industry had been announced by the government to boost construction activity besides, Establishment of Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to facilitate the construction sector as well as to strengthen the regulatory framework.
Besides, Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) launched two new projects in Islamabad and Rawalpindi for provision of apartments to the federal government employees under PM’s Naya Pakistan Housing Programme.