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ISLAMABAD, Feb 11 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday was told that within few weeks of its launch, the banks had received over 8,000 applications under the scheme of subsidy on mark-up of low-cost housing loan.

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Reza Baqir, in a meeting of National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction and Development, told the prime minister that 1,820 applications had been approved with an outlay of Rs 5 billion. The pending applications were being processed expeditiously, he added.

The meeting reviewed progress on the construction activities underway across the country as well as the provision of loans by the banks to builders, developers and especially the low-income groups.

The Senior Minister of Punjab conveyed the sentiments of builders and developers over the proactive role being played by the banks in extending loan facility for the development and construction activities.

The meeting was informed that for the first time in the country’s history, a standard application form was being used by all banks for extending credit facility to the low-income groups.

It had been made possible by the efforts of State Bank and cooperation extended by the commercial banks, it was told.

The Secretary Housing informed the prime minister that a memorandum of understanding had been signed with two banks through which loans with no ceiling limit would be provided for construction and purchase of new houses to the segments, which were not covered under the government’s mark-up scheme.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the cooperation being extended by commercial banks for promoting construction activities.

He directed the SBP governor, and Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority chairman to continuously follow the process of access to easy loans by low-income groups and remove all difficulties on priority basis.

Earlier, the prime minister also chaired a meeting to review progress on the Ravi Urban Development project and Central Business District in Lahore.

He was informed that five investors had submitted requests for proposal during the recently held investors’ conference. Two more investors had also shown their interest towards the project.

The prime minister, who was also briefed about the progress into priority areas of the project, observed that the Ravi Urban Development Project would address issues of the provincial capital, besides promoting massive economic activities in the area.