Pre-qualification of contractors for NPHS starts


Published: July 8, 2019
Following successful completion of application registration, the government has initiated process for pre-qualification of contractors for Prime Minister’s Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, an affordable housing project of five million units.
An official of the Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency (PHATA) told The Express Tribune that tenders have already been floated for pre-qualification of contractors for construction of houses and allied infrastructure.
In the first phase, the government has announced to roll out the NPHS in Lodhran, Chishtian, Rena Khurd while the project will be launched in Bhakkar, Layyah and Khushab during the second phase for which applications have also been submitted. As soon as process for pre-qualification of contractors is completed, he indicated, balloting will be held for allotment of three and five marla houses.
After balloting, successful applicants will have to deposit a 10% of the house price upfront and remaining amount will be paid in easy installments. Though, the government has set different prices on the basis on house size and location, as per available information the government has announced to give a 3-marla house for Rs1.65 million to Rs2.93 million and 5-marla house for Rs2.19 million to Rs4.11 million in different district of Punjab.
Under the NPHS, the government will construct single and double storey, 1-4-bedroom houses on three and five marlas, besides provision of all urban amenities, like roads, sewerage, utilities, parks, mosques, commercial areas and community centres. Since the NPHS is planned for low-income families, the government has also made financing possible through House Building Finance Company (HBFC), Bank of Punjab (BoP) and Meezan Bank. PHATA officials indicate that after making down payment, applicants can approach designated banks for loan by pledging their houses for a 15 to 20 years.
Punjab Minister for Housing and Urban Development Mian Mehmoodur Raheed highlighted that the NPHS has gotten a tremendous response from citizen since there is huge shortage of housing units in Pakistan, especially in the densely populated province of Punjab. He believed that the NPHS is a significant step towards achieving the goal of a welfare state and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government will keep its promise of providing five million houses to people at every cost.
At a later stage, he indicates, the government has plan to expand the scope of this public welfare project to rural areas and to achieve this goal a strategy has already been devised.
Besides local, various international construction companies have expressed their interest in the NPHS. Last month, representatives of a Chinese prefabricated housing manufacturer, Sunrise Construction, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PHATA. The Chinese construction company offered the government to build 10,000 houses in different districts of Punjab by using prefab technology which will be a maiden experience in Pakistan.
As per initial deliberations, the Chinese contractor has assured the government to hire entire (95%) labour from Pakistan except technical staff and engineers. Chinese contractors pointed out that they have sustainable housing solution that will provide solar energy and recycling plant for the provision of clean drinking water to these housing units.
They also committed to building a model house in provincial capital during the next 45 days.
Rasheed believed that the MoU with Chinese company will prove a milestone in housing and construction sector of Pakistan.
However, opposition parties and critiques of the housing scheme believe this plan would fail since the government has not been able to lay a single brick on the project as almost a year has passed.