ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the chief secretaries of all provinces to submit within week a roadmap for launching a one-window facility and online approval of permits, fee payments and parallel working of all departments related to the housing sector.

Chairing a meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction and Development here, the prime minister directed for completion of the government’s approvals like no objection certificate and others within stipulated time, and the officials showing negligence or creating unnecessary hurdles must be dealt with strictly.

The meeting was attended by Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, special assistants to prime minister Malik Amin Aslam, Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa and Dr Shahbaz Gill, Chairman of Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority Lt Gen (retd) Anwar Ali Haider, State Bank of Pakistan governor, secretary housing, chief secretaries of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Giligit-Baltistan while the chief secretaries of Balochistan and Sindh, additional chief secretary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, presidents of National Bank and Khyber Bank participated the meeting through video link.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said the government had given an unprecedented incentives package for the construction industry to accelerate the economic activity, promote allied industries and providing housing facility to the common man, particularly the low-income group.

He said the government was resolved to ease out the processes in that regard to make maximum number of people benefit from the facility.

The prime minister instructed for utilization of the information technology at all levels in the construction sector to make it swifter and easier.

Regarding the promotion of mortgage facility for the construction of low-cost houses for the low-income group, Imran Khan directed the finance ministry and State Bank to finalize the process of providing subsidy to banks to remove any hassles.

The Lahore Development Authority chairman apprised the meeting about the LDA City’s project under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme. The Sindh chief secretary told the meeting that as per the prime minister’s directive, the taxes ratio had been reduced in the province bringing it at par with those in Punjab and the KP.

The Punjab and KP chief secretaries briefed the meeting on the measures taken by their respective provinces to facilitate the construction industry like the launch of portal and establishment of E-Sahulat centres.

PM directs to ensure provision of internet facility in far-flung areas

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to pay special attention for the improvement and provision of internet facility in far-flung and backward areas of the country.

He was chairing a meeting in Islamabad on Thursday to enhance and improve coverage of internet in the country.

The Prime Minister said provision of internet has become a need in present times. He said easy availability of internet and its vast coverage are vital for utilizing potential of the youth in real sense and to ensure easy access to the education.

He directed the Universal Service Fund to take necessary steps to provide easy and cheaper internet facility in schools.

The Prime Minister was informed that USF is paying special focus on laying of optic fiber to ensure provision of better internet services. It was said that 1,800 kilometer long fiber optic has been laid in parts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in last two years, while 4,600 kilometer fiber optic will be laid in 547 union councils this year.

Regarding giving more incentives by the government for the Telecom sector, the Prime Minister constituted a committee comprising Finance Advisor, Minister for Defence Production, Minister for Planning, Minister for Information Technology and Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training to present its recommendations in this regard.