PM chairs cabinet meeting
File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Nov 26 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan, describing expatriate community as Pakistan’s “precious asset,” on Thursday stressed for the removal of hurdles in the way of their participation in the country’s business activities on priority basis.

He directed the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and other concerned departments to ensure the provision of maximum facilities to the Overseas Pakistani investors.

The Prime Minister expressed these views while presiding over the weekly meeting of National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction and Development here.
The meeting was attended by Advisor to PM Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, Special Assistants to PM Dr. Shehbaz Gill and Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari besides senior government officials.

Chief Secretaries and senior officials from the four provinces attended the meeting through video link.

The Prime Minister gave a clear direction that since the country at present did not face any shortage of electricity, there was no justification of delays in providing new electricity connections.

In that respect, he also directed to make the procedure for issuance of On Objection Certificates (NOCs) as well as the approvals easy for consumers.

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The Prime Minister further directed that those seeking bank loans under the scheme for the construction of their own houses on easy installments, should not be burdened with any other financial charges.

He said since the government’s objective was to provide shelter to the homeless people, so it should be ensured that they got ease and facilities.

The Prime Minister made it clear that the lengthy procedure and stages of approvals for different utility services should be simplified because the current procedures were creating hurdles in the way of construction sector.

The meeting was briefed by the Power and Petroleum Divisions about the ease and facilitation for the provision of electricity and gas connections to the new construction projects.

The Secretary Petroleum told the meeting that an online procedure was being established for the provision of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) required for new connection, which would make the system easy for consumers.

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Regarding the construction of new grid stations, the Ministry of Power was directed to formulate a standard procedure and implement the same in future.

Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) apprised the meeting of the agreed mutual cooperation with State Bank regarding the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.

He told the meeting that PTA would provide the banks with required information of the intending applicants.

Secretary Ministry of Housing and Works briefed the meeting regarding Pakistan Quarters, a residential project in Karachi, under which 6000 apartments would be constructed and for that purpose consultation with Sindh government and other concerned department was in progress.

The meeting was told that in first phase of the project work on 700 housing units to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 4 billion, would start within the next three months.

He further informed that the Ministry of Housing had, after approval, auctioned 5 ownership plots in Islamabad for over Rs. 13 billion, which besides attracting the investment worth Rs. 50 billion would provide job opportunities to 10,000 people.