According to a report published by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), the lack of policy and regulatory framework has led to the mushroom growth of real estate projects across the country. This is an established factor in the country as, in recent years, we have witnessed an uprising of real estate projects in several corners of Pakistan. Real estate projects are keenly taken up because the lack of regulatory policies allows the contractors to have a monopoly over the terms and conditions, and several even end up looting individuals who entrust the contractors with their money. This not only affects the average Pakistani but also the state which loses out on revenue on a land that is either not taxed or the mechanism for real estate has not been regulated in a manner that would ensure revenue generation on both ends.

This highlights a deeper problem in the Pakistani economy - the need and the push for urbanisation. Successive governments have based their agenda on the urbanisation of centres in the country. What that does is increase the pressure to provide an atmosphere which is not sustainable. We have witnessed that in the city of Lahore, which is expanding exponentially every year but the number of green patches in the city has reduced significantly. We have also witnessed the rise of the phenomenon of smog, more intensified this year, with little to no efforts to reduce it. The number of private vehicles has increased in the last couple of years, and it has added to the pollution in the city along with slow-paced public transport development.

In such a situation, where efforts are being made to urbanise a locality, there are greater chances of people migrating to that locality. This not only disturbs the urban-rural balance but also creates this notion that facilities are only restricted for the urban centres. With more and more people coming in to find jobs, and with the market remaining as static as ever, there are greater chances of crime rate being increased. The latest police figures show a rise in the crime rate due to the increase in gun violence. In order to prevent this, the government needs to regulate the growth of real estate to make space for commercial investment and create an effective rural-urban balance to prevent migration that will only add to mismanagement.