Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Reza Baqir on Sunday said that under the Naya Pakistan Housing Program, the banks have so far received applications worth over Rs 40 billion for the construction of low-cost housing.
Speaking at the National Bank of Pakistan’s telethon on low-cost housing loan, the governor said since the start of this process, the banks had increased their loans for the construction and housing sector by over Rs 42 billion.
Reza Baqir said that it was the vision of the Prime Minister to take Pakistan forward in the housing and construction sectors, particularly for the objective to facilitate the common man by the provision of easy loans through banks so that the dream of building one’s own house may be materialized.
He said that many institutions had to work and play their role to take forward the construction and housing sector. However, as far as banks are concerned, they would facilitate developers, builders and even common people with soft loans in building their houses.
He was of the view that this sector was not seen comprehensively in the past, that was why less than one per cent of the country’s economy consists of banking and housing finance.
In other countries, he said, banks provided more loans for housing and construction compared to Pakistan.
In China, he added, housing and construction finance played an important role in the progress of that country.
SBP Governor Reza Baqir informed the meeting that the banks are ensuring provision of facilities to the people for obtaining loans under the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.
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He said that the SBP was playing a role to develop partnerships with banks to overcome the difficulties that people were facing in the past in getting loans. He said that banks were now providing loans and were even given targets to provide loans to people.
Earlier, he said the borrower had to pay repayment monthly instalment of Rs 11,000 but now the monthly instalment would only be Rs 6600 on the same loan.
Responding to the question, he said if anybody wants to take loans and all banks would demand standard forms and required documents.
He said that SBP had 16 offices across the country where a help desk had been established at every bank. If anybody is not facilitated, he or she could register complaints against the concerned banks that would be addressed accordingly.
Once loans is approved and disbursed, it would be disbursed in a banks account. For informal employees, special provisions have been given for them to facilitate them, he added. He said loans could also be taken for the purchase of land.
Executive Director SBP Syed Sammar Hasnain said that earlier banks would provide loans on the basis of income but now it has been reversed as anybody can take loans up to Rs 2 million. He said the people could use the loans for the expansion of their houses also.
President National Bank Arif Usmani said that the NBP always plays role in such welfare schemes. People can approach NBP at 1500 branches across the country.