Pakistan Housing Finance Project to Gutter Baghicha Encroachment; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

16 January, 2022

Financing the Pakistan Housing Finance Project

The government of Pakistan is in the hunt of additional financing of US $ 85 million for its `Pakistan Housing Finance Project`, after World Bank’ disclosure of slow disbursement under Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar Scheme. In a recent report the World Bank revealed since inception 10 months ago, there has been 42,956 applications worth Rs200 billion under Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar and only 17,129 of these applications of Rs 78 billion have been approved, indicating only a 40% approval rate. Besides, the disbursements remained still lower at Rs 17 billion.

The Housing Enhance project already funded at $145m to address structural gaps in Pakistan`s financial system that had impeded the growth of affordable housing finance. The additional funding into the Risk Sharing Facility (RSF) will give banks comfort as they move towards lending to an untested market segment and will have a direct impact on the rate of approvals and disbursements going forward.

Cancellation of Gutter Baghicha Allotments

The Supreme Court this week ordered cancellation of the allotment of lands to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Employees Cooperative Society (KMCECS) after declaring the 200 acres of proprietary rights to the society as illegal. Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, a two-judge SC bench had taken up the case relating to the illegal allotment of amenity plots for commercial and residential purposes at the Gutter Baghicha area.

The entire land of Gutter Baghicha was meant for amenity plots, like educational, religious or welfare purposes. The court held the approval granted by the Sindh government as void with a direction to the Karachi administrator to forthwith retrieve the lands allotted to the society.

Making Gilgit a Clean & Green city

The local administration of Gilgit has decided to ban all sorts of activities which cause environmental pollution to make it a clean and green city. The decision was taken in this week at a meeting chaired by Deputy Commissioner Gilgit.

The meeting decided that people will have to obtain no objection certificates before starting any construction activity in the town. It also imposed ban on construction of markets and plazas in the municipal limits of Gilgit and decided to relocate stone crushing plants from the populated areas.

Housing Scheme for Pakistani Expats

The federal cabinet has approved a residential project worth $2 billion for the overseas Pakistanis to invest in real estate by making remittances through their Roshan Digital Accounts. The project will be executed at Park Road, Zone-4 of the federal capital, and will cover 6,000 housing units. Park Enclave Heights will be a state of art housing concept in smart housing, which will bring a paradigm shift in urban design practices of Islamabad.

With 6,000 housing units, for about 40,000 people the project have different categories ranging from 970 sqft to 2300 sqft. In addition, the scheme will have a number of features, including more than 80% of the area being placed for the provision of green cover, forests, parks, sit-outs, civic amenities like smart waste and sewerage treatment plants. The residential scheme for Overseas Pakistanis mainly targets to attract remittances through Roshan Digital Account

Peshawar Air Quality gets Harmful

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency has found air quality in Peshawar injurious to the people`s health, with the particulate matter (PM2.5) has exceeded the permissible limits. According to a report, during the air quality monitoring period (from Dec 29, 2021, to Jan 2, 2022), PM2.5 level constantly exceeded the NEQS limit of 55.3 to 220.8 (pg/m3) at all points, especially roadside locations.

“Though it was not toxic, long term exposure of citizens may cause health problems to general public”, says an official dealing with environment-related matters.

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