ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday, while noting the difficulties facing applicants for low-cost housing loans under Pakistan’s Naya Housing program, instructed the central bank and the National Bank of Pakistan to make it easier for them.
Responding to the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) telethon regarding low-cost housing loans, the Prime Minister asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to instruct commercial banks to facilitate the lending process for applicants. Simultaneously broadcast on Pakistani Television and various private channels, the telethon was attended by Senator Shibli Faraz, Chairman of the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority Lt-Gen (retired) Anwar Ali Hyder, SBP Governor Reza Baqir, NBP President Arif Usmani and SBP Executive Director Samar Hasnain .
The Prime Minister joined telethon via video link because he was under quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 a week ago. Khan said the NBP, as the country’s main bank, should also instruct its staff to facilitate loan applicants, observing that bank employees are also not used to making such easy loans to people without cash.
He said there was no concept of housing loans for the poor in the country, people initially faced difficulties. Khan said once people start building their own homes, the construction industry will expand rapidly to help boost the other 30 allied industries.
As a result, wealth will create and increase state income in addition to creating jobs for the community, he added. He said it was the first time in Pakistan that paid classes or people without money had the opportunity to own a house.
Khan said the program had been designed in such a way that beneficiaries who were currently providing the money to pay the rent on their homes would use the same means of paying housing loan installments.
Recipients of housing loans have to pay monthly installments of Rs6,600 for a one million loan, Rs 13,199 for two million, Rs19,799 for three million, Rs26,398 for four million, and Rs32,998 for a five million loan.
The prime minister said people around the world, such as Europe or the US, buy their homes through bank loans but that is not yet a practice in Pakistan. He said that with this program, not only people who have houses, but the national economy will also get a boost.
He said, because the country was under a burden of debt, wealth creation was needed to increase income. “In every way, this is an important project for the country,” said the Prime Minister.
Responding to a question, he said the government would give preference to widows and people with different abilities to provide them with housing under the program because they are the responsibility of the government.
People aspiring to own a home under the Prime Minister’s pro-poor housing program joined the transmission by dialing a phone number and panelists responded to their complaints. SBP Governor Reza Baqir said banks have relaxed loan requirements.
To facilitate applicants, SBP has prepared a standardized list of documents required for housing loans.