ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the proceeds of auctioned government-owned abandoned properties would be spent on public welfare.

Chairing a meeting to review progress on the productive utilization of the federal government’s unused properties, the Prime Minister was informed that 32 federal government-owned abandoned properties worth billions of rupees had been identified in major cities for their onward auction.

Secretary Privatization briefed the meeting that properties had been identified in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi with their estimated value in billions of rupees.

He said that out of 32 identified properties 27 were available and the process for recovery from illegal occupation and completion of ownership documents of rest five properties was in progress.

He said that the investors and overseas Pakistanis had shown keen interest in the said properties during an expo held in Dubai during the current month.

He said that after fulfilling all formalities, the schedule for their auction would be finalized and a local and international advertisement campaign would be launched in first week of January.

Imran says overseas Pakistanis showing interest to purchase abandoned properties

The prime minister expressed satisfaction on the process and said the utilization of abandoned properties and the utilization of the generated revenue for public welfare was vital component of government’s policies.

He said, the abandoned properties located on key locations in major cities would be utilized for construction of low cost houses, schools and hospitals besides spending the revenue generated from their auction for provision of better amenities.

The prime minister also instructed the authorities concerned to share the information regarding the abandoned properties with Naya Pakistan Housing Authority so that such land could be utilized for the construction of low cost housing units.

He also directed all the ministries to amend their rules to ensure the utilization of the abandoned properties for public welfare and furnish report to cabinet within a week for early completion of the process.

He also instructed the government to accomplish the recovery of the government land from illegal occupation and complete the documentation of their ownership in coordination with the provincial governments.

Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing Authority apprised the prime minister about the progress on the construction of low cost housing units for poor. The prime minister said the provision of low-cost and well equipped houses to the low-income group particularly the residents of the slums was among government’s priorities.

He said, the construction of the high rise buildings in slums located in different cities would not only resolve the housing problems of the slum dwellers but also enable the government to spend revenue to be generated from the construction of commercial plazas for building low-cost houses for the poor.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Privatization Minister Mohammed Mian Soomro, Special Assistants to Prime Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Syed Zulfiqar Ali Bukhari and Nadeem Afzal Chan, federal secretaries of the ministries concerned and other senior officers.

APP adds: Prime Minister Imran Khan also directed the streamlining of the process of payment of salaries to the employees of Public Works Department (PWD)under the System Product Proficiency.

He was chairing a meeting here to discuss the matters relating to the PWD and the Ministry of Housing and Works.

Minister for Housing Chaudhry Tariq Basheer Cheema, Secretary Housing Dr Imran Zaib, Secretary Finance Naveed Kamran Baloch and other senior officers were present at the meeting.

Secretary Housing Dr Imran Zaib briefed the prime minister on the PWD affairs, especially the measures being taken to improve the performance of the department, its financial matters as well as the problems with respect to the salaries of employees.

He also gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister about the effective utilization of human resource through the use of information technology.

The secretary told the prime minister that in order to bring about improvement in the performance of PWD and to ensure transparency and eliminate corruption, the process of E-tendering and E-procurement had been introduced in the contracts’ system.

Regarding the execution of development projects, he told PM Imran that out of total 46 projects on which work was currently underway under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), 36 would be completed by the second quarter of the current fiscal year.

The secretary also apprised the prime minister of the progress made so far on the profitable use of assets of the offices of Ministry of Housing located in Karachi and Murree.

The meeting also discussed in detail the measures being taken to overcome the shortage of government houses for public servants, and the good use of those already existing in various cities of the country, including the federal capital.