LAHORE Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Punjab government is launching Ashiyana Housing Scheme, in accordance with the people-friendly and pro-poor vision of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, which will help realise the dream of low-income people of having their own house. This low-cost housing scheme will be the best in the country with regard to its standard and facilities and will be executed in a highly transparent manner. Houses will be allotted in through a transparent balloting process. After Sue-e-Asal in Lahore, the scope of the project will be extended to all other cities of the province, Shahbaz said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Ashiyana Housing Project at CMs Secretariat on Thursday. Besides Nawaz Sharif, who especially attended the function, provincial ministers, parliamentarians, intellectuals, columnists and people from different walks of life were also present on the occasion. The chief minister said he was extremely happy to inaugurate the important project which would provide shelter to the homeless. Except a few residential projects, the remaining schemes fell prey to corruption. However, the Ashiyana Housing Project will be executed in a highly transparent manner, he said, adding that 10 per cent quota has been reserved for widows and destitute persons. He also mentioned that the monthly instalment for a 3-Marla house is Rs4,500 and for a 5-Marla house Rs7,500. He said 6,000 to 7,000 houses would be constructed under the scheme while construction work of 3,000 was being started immediately and would be completed in a year. Corruption and nepotism were promoted in the name of development projects in the past. The Lahore-Kasur Road and Ring Road projects were ruined two-and-half-years ago. The present government completed these projects in a transparent manner and changed these schemes of corruption into projects of public welfare, he added. Nawaz said the Punjab govt deserved credit for providing shelter to the homeless people. Peoples hard-earned money received in the form of taxes should be spent only on their welfare and provision of facilities. Sincerity and determination are the essential qualities for the service of the nation, he said, adding that the PML-N in its last tenure had initiated 'Mera Ghar Housing Scheme as well as a number of welfare projects but unfortunately the govt was toppled, and these projects could not be completed. Provision of houses to low-income people in the era of price-hike is a commendable step and this scheme should be launched at a large scale so that no district is deprived. Multi-storey buildings should be constructed in the slums while necessary facilities should also be ensured, he suggested. Nawaz asked the Punjab govt to concentrate on accelerating industrialisation process and develop industrial zones and new cities along major highways and motorway. He recalled that the PML-N govt had constructed the Coastal Highway from Karachi to Gwadar and there was also a plan to construct a motorway from Rato Dero to Gwadar. If opportunity was provided to complete these welfare projects, Pakistan would have emerged as a prosperous and self-reliant country, he added. Earlier, Chairman Punjab Land Development Company Sheikh Allauddin, also an MPA, while giving details of the project informed in the first phase, 3,000 houses would be constructed at Sue-e-Asal, Ferozepur Road. He said the people having a monthly income of less than Rs20,000 a month and domicile of Punjab would be eligible to apply while quota for widows, orphans, martyrs and disabled had also been reserved. Picture on page 5