Pakistan once again sees a rise in demands for houses. The Prime Minister recognizes this and has announced a number of housing projects. Various provincial governments have also announced their housing projects. Increase in construction work will also increase jobs and economic activities in related sectors while also generating revenue in the form of taxes, stamp duties for the Government of Pakistan. But the PM should also recognize that to achieve the full potential of property development, there needs to be changes in laws and regulations in this field.

The current laws do not protect investors, buyers or even developers. My father bought a property on installments from Services Cooperate Housing Society (SCHS) in 1993 and although all payments have been made for decades, the plot has not been handed over to my father till date. The previous management of the society had embezzled billions and sold off the society’s property.

A dynamic new GM, Miss Salma Qureshi was elected in 2008, she single handed exposed all the embezzlement and through legal acts managed to take back most of the stolen property, including land stolen by the Police Welfare Society in Sector E-11. This brave woman received many threats but she continues her honest work, until she was shot in her office in Islamabad Sector I-8/3. Till date her killers have not been apprehended. All the cases she won for the society were lost in appeals in the coming months while the property she had reclaimed was taken over by the thieves and embezzlers who had killed her.

We, on the other hand, are still waiting for the property for which we have paid all the dues two decades ago, and like us thousands of other Pakistanis are waiting for their property. Therefore to achieve the full potential of the property development, the laws and regulations need to be changed to ensure safety for investors, buyers and property developers with very harsh punishments for embezzlement.

With the help of regulations, the Government can also help introduce new raw materials for construction industry that are being used around the world. Let’s help Pakistan become a modern, advance, efficient nation of the 22nd Century, with safe, green and stable homes, that not only increase the quality of life of its dwellers, but also does not put any stress on our nations limited energy supplies.

SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER,

Peshawar, March 4.