Corruption, uplift cannot co-exist: Imran

The News

LAHORE/OKARA: Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed on Saturday the elimination of corruption was foremost priority of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government as it could not go along with national development.
The Prime Minister, in a meeting with Director General Anti-Corruption Ijaz Hussain Shah here, called for indiscriminate action against corrupt elements and assured government’s all-out support for the purpose. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar was also present in the meeting.
Khan noted corruption had not only inflicted irreparable loss to national economy but also marred national institutions besides adversely affecting the common man.
Late in the day, Prime Minister Khan launched the first phase of Naya Pakistan Housing Project in the Punjab province. Addressing the ground breaking ceremony in Okara district, the Prime Minister said the construction of five million houses for the low-income segments of the society across the country was a difficult task. The government would, however, meet the challenge as necessary legislation was being made to provide loans to the people.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Housing Minister Mehmood-ur-Rasheed said in the current phase, 3,200 houses would be built in Renala Khurd tehsil of Okara district. Work on similar projects in Lodhran and Chishtian had also been started, he added.
The minister said within a month, the government would launch work on the construction of 150,000 houses in 10 cities of the province, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Chiniot, Sialkot, Jhelum, Sargodha, DG Khan, Bhakkar, Layyah and Khushab.
Prime Minister Khan, who earlier unveiled the plaque of the housing project, lauded both the Punjab chief minister and housing minister for swift implementation of the government’s housing policy. He said no society could progress without compassion towards poor people.
He cited the welfare mechanisms of the European and Scandinavian states, which, he said, were in fact pursuing the model introduced by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) in the State of Medina, which guaranteed shelter, healthcare, justice, education and food to its citizens. He said what to talk of the humans, the Scandinavian states also ensured the protection of animal rights.
The PTI government, he said, was also striving to develop Pakistan as a welfare state and the Naya Pakistan Housing Project was part of that process. He said the government was in the process of making legislation to make the banks offer housing loan facility to the poor people.
The Prime Minister said all of the five million houses would be built by the private sector and the government would just facilitate them. He said the educated youth had a great opportunity to form their construction companies that would also create job opportunities. Around 40 industries were directly linked with the housing sector, he added.
He said the government had decided to build flats to accommodate the slum dwellers, who were currently living in untidy conditions. For the purpose, the government would seek Chinese support to build pre-fabricated structures, which usually took around a week to raise a floor.
He said the foreign investors were ready to invest in the housing sector of Pakistan and the government would extend all-out support to them. He said the critics, who used to term the project as
impossible, would soon see it moving fast. Khan said it would be for the first time that the people from low-income group would also have the opportunity to own a house.

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