Important decisions related to overseas Pakistanis taken, special committee formed to deal their cases. ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Programme’ launched
Nation special report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted a special committee to deal the affairs of overseas Pakistanis. The committee would be headed by his special assistant Zulfiqar Bukhari and would present its recommendations for the resolution of issues being faced by the overseas Pakistanis.
The committee in collaboration with the State Bank of Pakistan, National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) would also determine the process for sending foreign remittances by the overseas Pakistanis, so that remittances could be legally transmitted to the country instead through hawala or hundi and reportedly, remittances would be made only through legal means.
Chairing a meeting here on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said overseas Pakistanis, especially those employed as workmen and labourers were the most precious assets of the country and their well-being was the top priority of the government. He assured that all possible facilities would be extended to the overseas Pakistanis and those employed as workmen.
The prime minster was expressing his views in a briefing given by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development Division, PM Office media wing in a press release said. He observed that it was the responsibility of the government to provide facilities to those expatriates, who eked out abroad as labourers and workmen to support their families.
The prime minister was of the view that a strategy should be devised for maximum utilization of job opportunities emerging in the Gulf countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, so that the professionals and experts in Pakistan could avail of those opportunities.
The secretary ministry of overseas Pakistanis and human resources development division briefed the prime minister in detail about the functioning of the ministry and its attached departments. Special Assistant to the PM on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari was also present during the meeting.
The prime minister stressed upon extending all possible facilities to the overseas Pakistanis for increasing the foreign remittances, so that country’s economy could be stabilized.
The meeting decided in principle to shift the community welfare attaches deputed in Pakistan embassies to those places abroad where population of overseas Pakistanis was concentrated.
The meeting also considered removing the condition of issuance of NICOP (to Pakistanis working as labourers abroad.
The prime minister directed for appointment of board of governors in the ministry concerned and its attached department on the basis of merit and professionalism.
He also directed for ensuring strict safety measures for the workmen and labourers working in the industrial units.
The meeting also agreed in principle to hand over affairs pertaining to the International Labour Organization (ILO) from Economic Affairs Division to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development. The National Accountability Bureau would probe the cases of mismanagement and corruption cases of the previous governments.
5 million houses project
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday launched PTI’s ambitious flagship “Naya Pakistan Housing Programme” aimed at building five million low-cost and affordable housing units across the country, fulfilling one of the “cornerstones” of his party’s election manifesto.
Addressing the launching ceremony here at the PM Office, the Prime Minister announced that the government would provide the land, facilitate and remove bottlenecks and work
under public-private partnership to construct housing units with all basic amenities. “We want to build houses for those who ordinarily do not even dream of owning a house, as they fall in low-income group and barely manage to find a shelter,” Imran Khan said.
He said the data of federal or provincial lands was being collected and registered by a land bank so that the government could provide land for the housing programme to be undertaken by the private sector. Vowing to personally supervise the project the Prime Minister announced the setting up of a Naya Pakistan Housing Authority (NPHA) in 90 days. Meanwhile the 17-member Housing Task Force would oversee the housing programme, he added.
He announced the launch of pilot project under Naya Pakistan Housing Programme in seven districts including Faisalabad, Sukkur, Quetta, DI Khan, Islamabad, Gilgit and Muzaffarabad, where NADRA would help collect the basic data of those in need of the housing through registration during the next 60 days.