ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that provision of houses to the people from low income and salaried class is among the top priorities of the incumbent government.

Addressing a ceremony in connection with the government’s low cost housing program here on Tuesday, Imran Khan said provision of houses at less cost by a philanthropic organization is a big step.

He reiterated that the government’s job is to uplift the poor and provide them with basic necessities, noting that this was the model of the State of Madinah.

The premier lamented that there existed a system in the country which only benefited the elite.

“The laws, justice, well-equipped hospitals, education, and other facilities were for the elite class in our country,” he added.

Lamenting that Pakistan only cared for the elite class and not the poor, he said: “A civilised society cares for its poor, it is identified not how the rich spend their lives but how the poor are living.”

“And this was Madinah’s model, the state did not have money, they took money from the rich and gave them to the poor through Zakat,” he said, adding that this was the reason why Pakistan was created.”

Pakistan was created to set an example for other Muslim states but we have deviated from our goal, he lamented. “Through this housing scheme, we have decided to build houses for those who cannot afford it,” he said.

“For uplifting the poor we have distributed 5 million heath cards in Punjab and KP has decided to give all the poor people this [health] card.” “The Ehsaas Programme is based solely for the benefit of the poor.”

“Pakistan is the only country in South Asia country where banks give the lowest amount of mortgage. India’s average is at 10%, Malaysia stands at 30%, Europe and UK are at 80% while we stand at a mere 0.2%,” he said.

“The housing finance is not given due to lack of foreclosure laws. We are working on it and hopefully, it will be implemented and then the salaried people will be able to build their own houses,” he noted.

“We will give them a standardised structure as well so that they will not have to spend money on architectures,” he added.

Talking about how he built the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, he said: “When I was given an estimate of Rs700 million for the hospital, I was worried that how can such a huge amount be arranged, and with hardships, it was finally collected.”

“Our nation believes in the last day and it is this belief that it donates so much money,” he said.

The Prime Minister noted that if you built up trust in the Pakistani nation then they will donate money open-heartedly. In case you are in the NGO business the most important thing for you is to build up trust in the people.

Earlier, the Prime Minister distributed cheques of interest-free loans among the selected recipients.