Loan process, forms Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme simplified

Even a rickshaw driver can qualify for Rs3 million loan
The government is easing the procedure for loans on houses in 'Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme' while the application forms are also being simplified, SAMAA Digital learnt on good authority on Monday.

Now, people who were previously unable to benefit from the scheme because of tough loan conditions or the complexity of the application forms would now be able to secure their own homes through this scheme, an officer associated with the public sector housing scheme told SAMAA Digital.

The government, he said, was essentially targeting people from the low-income groups, but these same people were finding it difficult to fulfill bank loan requirements relating to proof of income. According to him, the process for the scheme had been eased to facilitate people without adequate banking documentation.

The new application form, he said, was very simple, adding that it only required the applicants to provide simple details such as name, father's name, CNIC number and residential address. He said that after the forms were received, banks officials would assess and approve loan applications after evaluating applicants power utility bills and rent of properties in which the applicants lived.

"An applicant can qualify for a house building loan amounting to Rs3 million even if he is a rickshaw driver, but is able to demonstrate that he can save as much as Rs15,000 a month," the official said.

An official of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) verified the information, saying that new forms had been approved by the central bank and an statutory regulatory order (SRO) would soon be issued in this regard.

Banks, he said, demanded proof of employment and income following risk guidelines. He said that a pushcart owner, who easily earned more than Rs50,000 a month, was unable to provide adequate documents, satisfying banks.

According to the SBP official, people in low-income groups mostly work in informal sector, whose bank assessments loan histories were simply unavailable. "A large number of these people do not even have bank accounts," he maintained.

The form and loan procedures were being simplified keeping in view problems faced by people in low-income groups, he said. President of Defence Clifton Association of Real Estate Zubair Baig said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was taking a special interest in the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.

He said that the SBP, FBR, federal finance ministry and other departments concerned were extraordinarily been active in this regard. He said that builders and brokers of real estate were also being consulted in this regard.

Zubair Baig told SAMAA Digital that under-construction housing projects had also been added in the financing scheme on September 2. People, he said, could also apply for housing loans for flats too.

The low-cost housing scheme was launched in 2018 for providing 5 million units to people falling in low-income groups. According to SBP data, applications for loans worth Rs154 billion had been received by banks till August this year. SBP had already approved loans amounting to Rs60 billion while loans worth Rs11.5 billion disbursed.

According to FBR data released on September 10, as many as 1,321 persons had registered 2,125 projects via the online registration system. In total, these projects were worth Rs493 billion. As many as 1,775 new projects while 350 were ongoing.