Reshaping Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar to Reviewing Ravi Riverfront & Business District; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

24 July 2022

Reshaping Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar Scheme

Following the rise of interest rate up to 15%, the federal government is reshaping the Mera Pakistan, Mera Ghar (MPMG) low-cost housing scheme. It maintains that the interest rate has gone up to 15% while financing was being provided at much lower rates. In a tweet this week, however Finance Minister Miftah Ismail confirms the government is reshaping the Mera Pakistan, Mera Ghar scheme but assures people that no one will lose money.

Investors are mostly worried about interest rates, which were subsidized by the PTI government to boost the housing and construction sectors. However, the new government engaged with the International Monetary Fund for an agreement and has withdrawn a number of subsidies in different sectors. As the State Bank of Pakistan increased the Export Finance Scheme rate to 10% from 7% and long-term finance was also increased to 10% from 7.5%. Therefore, investors in the MPMG scheme are rightly worried about the interest, which has been increasing with an uptick in inflation.

Reviewing Ravi Riverfront City & Business District Lahore

In a bid to review the functionality and progress of the Ravi Urban Development Authority and the Lahore Central Business District Development Authority, established by the former PTI provincial government, the sitting PML N government has constituted a high-level committee headed by the Planning and Development Board chairman. Since both the authorities are engaged in executing the two mega schemes Ravi Riverfront Urban City Development and Central Business District Lahore; the core objective behind reviewing these projects is said to assess their viability, scope and any intervention (if required) on the part of the government.

Ravi Riverfront City is a Commercial Greed or Ecological Deception

According to a notification issued by the government recently, the committee consists of 11 members from provincial secretariat, while the CEOs of both mega schemes would also act as secretaries. The committee will check the existing illegal constructions in jurisdictional areas and actions taken and any proposed mechanism the real estate schemes, review financial models and their sustainability. Most importantly it will also require to evaluate impact of each project on ancillary infrastructure requirements of Lahore City including traffic, sewerage, energy, water, environment etc.

“The committee shall submit its report along with a way forward or recommendations on the above TORs to the chief secretary within three weeks,” reads the notification.

Solar Net-Metering Generation reaches 419 MW

The solar net-metering power generation has reached 419MW with a considerable number of consumers switching to solar across the country. The net-metering project had been launched in 2016 countrywide. It allows domestic, commercial, industrial and other consumers having at least a three-phase meter connection to be part of the power generation system by installing it on his/her premises (house, shop, factory, open spaces, etc.). Under the arrangements, such a consumer may sell the additional energy to the respective power distribution company and make stocktaking (calculations) with it at the end of the month. Since the system allows the consumers to generate electricity from one kilowatt to one megawatt, Nepra issues licenses to the applicants seeking generation below 25KW in the service area jurisdiction of all distribution companies.

Significance of Solar Energy in Pakistan

With around 149MW, Lahore Electric Supply Company stands first among 10 power distribution companies. Multan Electric Power Company comes second having cumulative generation of 104.358MW then Islamabad Electric Supply Company with 79.653 MW, followed by Faisalabad Electric Supply Company’ 56.681MW and Gujranwala Electric Power Company’ 41.708MW.

Progress on Peshawar Valley Project

Chairing a meeting about the progress made on establishment of New Peshawar Valley the Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed Peshawar Development Authority to issue intimation letters to the landowners by July 25 in connection with the flagship project of the provincial government. The meeting was given a detailed briefing on the progress so far made and the proposed timelines for the ongoing steps under the project. It was also informed that intimation letters of the plots for landowners under the land sharing formula were ready.

The Chief Minister said that execution of the project was among the priorities of the provincial government for which all necessary steps and initiatives needed to be completed within the stipulated timelines. The meeting was informed that 13,898 kanals of land had also been verified by the deputy commissioner for the project. A suitable place for the site office of the project will be selected within the next couple of days. PC-I for the construction of the site office has also been prepared.

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