ISLAMABAD - While terming development of the housing sector a priority for his government, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that development of this sector would not only help 40 related industries grow, but would also ensure the provision of job opportunities to the youth and skilled labourers. Chairing a meeting held here to review progress on ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Project’ launched for people belonging to low-income group, the prime minister directed the provincial governments to work out how the taxes could be reduced to promote the housing sector.

He directed the concerned officials to study the master plans of all big cities in order to chalk out a comprehensive strategy for the accommodation of people and provision of civic facilities to them. The prime minister asked the provincial secretaries to gather information within one week about the unused public land where houses could be built for the low-income families after due planning.

Briefing the meeting on the steps taken for making the housing project a reality, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority chairman informed that tax levied on the construction phase would be abolished, for which the matter was under consideration for approval by the provinces.

The meeting was further told that steps were being taken to reduce the rate of Capital Value Tax and issuance of E-stamp papers to facilitate people related to the housing and construction sectors.

About the ease-of-doing-business in the housing sector, the prime minister was apprised that an online portal by the provincial governments would be launched to link up the government departments relevant to the sector.

The step would rid the businessmen and traders of the agony to visit different offices to receive No Objection Certificates (NOCs), PM Imran was told.

It was highlighted that the process of construction was being made easy by reducing the required number of NOCs and permits.

The prime minister was also apprised about progress on abolishing the NOC required from Aviation Division for the construction of multi-storey buildings.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction over progress on steps taken for the housing sector.

The meeting was attended by the Federal Bureau of Revenue chairman, provincial chief secretaries and senior officials.