Mafias to face brunt of law: PM


-Stresses on digitalization
-Says machines don’t take bribes
-Breaks ground for 35,000 affordable apartments in Lahore
-Asserts Pakistan in full battle to hold mafias accountable
-Reaffirms resolve to turn Pakistan into State of Medina

From Abid Usman

Lahore: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday stressed the need for automation for improving the ease of doing business and bringing down costs.
“Automation is essential if we want to increase our ease of doing business and bring down costs,” he said, adding that there was a lot of resistance to this. Bribery is removed from the equation when automation is introduced, he said, adding that “machines don’t take bribes”
The premier was addressing a ceremony in Lahore after performing the ground breaking for the construction of affordable apartment under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme. According to State media, 35,000 affordable apartments will be built in LDA City under the scheme.
PM Imran also took the opportunity to mention the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and the recent changes introduced by the management. “The authority has brought about a lot of improvement,” he remarked.
The premier began his address by congratulating Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and the Punjab government on the launch of the scheme.
“There is a lot of work that went into where we are today,” he said, highlighting that nothing would have been possible without the passage of foreclosure laws. “With foreclosure laws, banks would not provide financing which is called mortgage financing.”
He stated that mortgage financing in Pakistan was 0.2 per cent as compared to more than 80pc in the West. “What this means is that you can’t build a home without cash. It’s not as though every person has cash, but they are able to purchase homes because banks provide financing. This is what happens in the developed world.”
He said that now low-income groups will get an opportunity to build their own homes. He also commented on the need for change to meet modern challenges. “When you have a system that is plagued by several issues, it takes time to bring about change. The old status quo does not allow change to take place because it takes away from their wealth. So an entire system develops.”
The prime minister stated that he has seen the entire system deteriorating in front of his eyes. “You need vision and determination to bring about change. There are so many countries in the world that have transformed themselves. So for Pakistan to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we will need to change ourselves.” The prime minister also touched upon the recent boom in cement sales, stating that it was proof that the “construction sector was moving forward”.
During his address, PM Imran elaborated on the two principles for making Pakistan a great nation in the footsteps of the state of Madina; rule of law and social welfare. “No civilisation has risen without ensuring the rule of law,” he said. “No one is above the law and that was the basis upon which one of the greatest civilisations was able to stand upon,” he remarked. “Go to Scandinavia, Germany, England, no one is above the law. There is no priviledged class becuase no one is above the law.” He added that a war was being waged in the country to bring down mafias.
The second thing was focusing on the people, by providing them welfare, he said. “The state of Madina took responsibility for the weak segments of society. And we are also trying to do the same.” He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had provided health cards to all of its residents, adding that Punjab had taken up the challenge to provide all of its residents with health cards by the end of the year. The premier concluded his speech by vowing to make Pakistan a welfare state.
Agencies add: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Friday said the country’s construction sector is progressing now.This he said while addressing a ceremony of groundbreaking of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) City Naya Pakistan Apartments under the Naya Pakistan Housing program.
30 more industries are directly linked with the construction sector, the premier said and added that his government is taking concrete steps to further uplift this sector. PM Imran said, the PTI government faced many hurdles in reaching the position and added that Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has also removed the flaws within it and is heading in the right direction.
People can avail of the house under Naya Pakistan Housing program by paying the rent money as installment, he added.35,024 apartments will be constructed under the project being initiated by Lahore Development Authority in collaboration with Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority.
Under the scheme, 4,000 apartments will be constructed during the first phase. Every apartment will cover a 650 square feet area, having two bedrooms. The LDA had a fixed price of Rs2.7million for every apartment which will be taken in easy installments. The prime minister during his visit to Lahore would chair key meetings at Chief Minister House, where he would get briefings on the latest updates on inflation and COVID-19 situation.
The prime minister would also be briefed on the Ravi River project and other housing schemes besides also being updated on an operation against land grabbers in the province. Earlier, Imran Khan had performed the groundbreaking of Farash Town apartments in Islamabad under the Naya Pakistan Housing Program.