RENALA KHURD, May 4 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Saturday launched the first phase of Naya Pakistan Housing Project in the Punjab province.

Addressing the ground breaking ceremony, the prime minister said the construction of five million houses for the low-income segments of the society across the country was a difficult task.

The government would, however, meet the challenge as necessary legislation was being made to provide loans to the people.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Punjab Housing Minister Mehmood-ur-Rasheed and Information Minister Syed Samsam Bukhari were also present at the event.

Provincial minister Mehmood-ur-Rasheed said in the current phase, 3,200 houses would be built in Renala Khurd tehsil of Okara district. Work on similar projects in Lodhran and Chishtian had also been started.

He said within a month, the government would launch work on the construction of 150,000 houses in 10 cities of the province, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Chiniot, Sialkot, Jhelum, Sargodha, D G Khan, Bhakkar, Layyah and Khushab.

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The prime minister, who earlier unveiled the plaque of the project, lauded both the Punjab chief minister and housing minister for swift implementation of the government’s housing policy.

He said no society could progress without compassion towards the poor people. He cited the welfare mechanisms of the European and Scandinavian states, which, he said, were in fact pursuing the model introduced by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) in the State of Madina, which guaranteed shelter, healthcare, justice, education and food to its citizens.

He said what to talk of the humans, the Scandinavian states also ensured the protection of animal rights.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, he said, was also striving to develop Pakistan as such a welfare state and the Naya Pakistan Housing Project was part of that process.

He said the government was in the process of making legislation to make the banks offer housing loan facility to the poor people.

The prime minister said all of the five million houses would be built by the private sector and the government would just facilitate them.

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He said the educated youth had a great opportunity to form their construction companies that would also create job opportunities.

Around 40 industries were directly linked with the housing sector, he added.

“This is just beginning. Insha Allah this will spread all across Pakistan,” he remarked.

The prime minister said the government had decided to build flats to accommodate the slum dwellers, who were currently living in untidy conditions. For the purpose, the government would seek Chinese support to build pre-fabricated structures, which usually took around a week to raise a floor.

He said the foreign investors were ready to invest in the housing sector of Pakistan and the government would extend all-out support to them.

He said the critics, who used to term the project as impossible, would soon see it moving fast.

He said it would be for the first time that the people from low-income group would also have the opportunity to own a house.