Update (March 17, 2022):
PM’s Multi-Billion Rupee South Punjab Development Package
Prime Minister Imran Khan is about to introduce a PKR 581 billion package focused on the development of Southern Punjab, which is envisioned to upgrade the depleting infrastructure in the region, according to a news article recently published in a renowned English daily. The package would provide funds to improve the power supply network, strengthen the education system and generalise the concept of information technology.
A total of 122 projects have been included in this regional growth and development package. It would encompass all the govt-backed funding schemes, new infrastructure projects and other public-private partnership initiatives. As per the officially released details, the federal and provincial governments are in talks to get done with any remaining consultations with the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the relief package.
UPDATE (Aug. 6, 2021): The federal government has announced a development fund of PKR 189 billion in 11 districts of South Punjab. The sum will be used for 2500 development projects under a number of sectors, including health, education and agriculture.
Pakistan’s Punjab province is considered to be the most prosperous of all four provinces. It has the greatest share in agri-based earnings and industrial output. This is because of its geography and in order to sustain this growth, successive governments have introduced a number of development packages and schemes. The present government has also introduced a number of development schemes in Punjab which promise positive effects for the provincial economy. In this blog we understand these initiatives and their impact on various sectors, especially real estate.
Development Schemes In Punjab
The incumbent government under Prime Minister Imran Khan has developed a special focus on rehabilitating those cities and districts that have remained underdeveloped till now. These include cities primarily located in South Punjab, or cities that are prominent for their strong industrial base.
The government is introducing these initiatives to kickstart this region’s economy and making it self-sustaining in the long run.
The South Punjab Secretariat
The present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan is working for a constitutional amendment for the establishment of a separate province of South Punjab. In efforts leading up to this, last month the government laid the foundation for the South Punjab Secretariat, to be established in Bahawalpur at a cost of PKR 3.54 billion.
Moreover, the government has decided to expand the share of South Punjab in employment by allocating a quota for youth of the region. Meanwhile, separate service tribunals and drug courts will also be established.
In the weeks following this, a number of development schemes have been launched in various cities of South Punjab.
Development Scheme For Multan
The government has announced a PKR 34 billion development budget for Multan. Moreover, CM Buzdar has announced that PKR 78.72 crores will be spent on new development projects. He also informed that an additional PKR 8.97 billion is being spent on the construction of Mattial road, hospital and shelter home, in addition to PKR 18 billion for the expansion of Multan-Vehari Road.
But this is in addition to a number of prominent government initiatives which includes four development schemes worth PKR 3.31 billion such as e-khidmat centre, shelter home, urban forest and labour housing colony in industrial estate. Moreover, 992 flats are being given to labourers in the labour housing colony. These are all part of the initiatives aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of laborers in Pakistan.
Development Scheme For Gujrat
Under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) 2021-2022, the Punjab Government has approved a PKR 10 billion uplift package for Gujrat. According to details released by the government, the uplift package will primarily address the prevailing issues of Gujrat such as faulty sewerage and drainage systems, poor road infrastructure and the industrial estate area’s development.
Moreover, Phase-II of the small industrial estate area on 150 acres, rack-II of the Servis Morr flyover connecting Rehman Shaheed Road to the GT Road bypass and industrial area link road, construction of 14-kilometre long old GT road from Rehmania Bridge to Kathala railway crossing, and the establishment of a 100-bed hospital have also been approved. Apart from this, PKR 1.5 billion have been earmarked for the construction of overhead bridge on Rajjar railway crossing in Sara I Alamgir city,10-bed dialysis centre in Kharian THQ Hospital, the construction of Kharian-Dinga and Lalamusa-Dinga roads, trauma centres in Sara I Alamgir Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospital and Dinga, and Rescue 1122 centres for Lalamusa and Dinga.
Sources in the government have told media that in the next ADP, an additional PKR 400 million have been allocated for the construction of streets, roads, and drains.
Development Scheme For Narowal
A development package worth PKR 5.12 billion has been announced for Narowal. This will include PKR 230 million for the expansion of three roads of 17 kilometres long, whereas PKR 5.12 billion have been allocated for 39 different projects. Moreover, PKR 840 million have been earmarked for supply and drainage of water, roads and other projects to be completed in Zafarwal and Shakargarh.
What is particularly notable about this scheme is the number of road construction projects introduced. This includes PKR 1.70 billion for the construction of 33-kilometres long Narowal-Zafarwal road and Syed Chiragh Shah Bypass, PKR 2.40 billion for 38-kilometre long Narowal-Muridke road, PKR 25.34 billion for the construction of linkage of Narowal and Narang Mandi with Lahore-Sialkot motorway, as well as PKR 1.16 billion for Shakargarh to Zafarwal and Kartarpur to Darbar Sahib roads improvement projects.
Overall, CM Buzdar announced that work is underway on 111 ongoing schemes, which also includes PKR 188 million for the upgradation of schools as well.
Zameen.com sources in Narowal have revealed that prices in Narowal are stable, and these government measures will be a point in the right direction, especially as the ‘Naya Pakistan Manzalain Asan’ Programme concentrates development at the grass-root level which directly impacts the genuine buyers.
Development Scheme For Gujranwala
Announced a month ago, the Gujranwala Development Plan has been announced under Punjab government’s Regional Development Strategy. This is in view of Gujranwala’s established industrial base that Prime Minister Imran Khan has highlighted accounts for 13% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by contributing over 20% in exports. For this very reason, the the aim of this scheme is to uplift various sectors; such as specialized value chain infrastructure, urban management, rural-urban market connectivity, environment, rural development and management, manual labor development, and knowledge and economy transfer, especially for the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
All of these recently-announced development schemes and packages are tailor-made for each city and district to get the maximum benefit.
Effects Of Development Scheme On Real Estate Industry
While talking to agents in Gujrat, we found out that while these programs are a move in the right direction, there is still a long way to go. This is mainly because Gujrat has only three to four modern housing societies, and, of these, River Garden Housing is among the most preferred. It is the housing society that has seen the most rapid infrastructural development not only within the society but on its outside as well, because of which a large number of people are interested in investing here. A park by the name of Shahbaz Sharif Park is also located right inside the premises of the society, making it a preferred location for most people.
Moreover, Malik Umair from Malik Builders has highlighted that overall, in the city most of the buying in real estate is done on cash payments, and the unavailability of instalment plans makes buying property an uneasy task for many. Hence, he states a large number of overseas Pakistanis are the primary driving force behind formal real estate transactions in the city.
Various other sources have also confirmed that in Gujrat, properties are not sold on payment plan and most popular locations such as Model Town only have a registry system, in place of plot files.
Many property agents therefore believe that it is these factors that have to be addressed in addition to the development packages for there to be an overall positive impact in the city’s real estate market. However, Kamran Aftab of Chenab Orchard is optimistic and believes that within the next six month effects of these development packages will be felt because the prices of properties will skyrocket, as people are primarily waiting for the city to develop.
The same is true for Narowal as well and only when the development schemes have come into fruition will we know exactly what these developments mean for the real estate market.
Multan, on the other hand, is a promising new city in Punjab. Especially its Business Hub by Bodla Developers is gaining momentum and being the first mixed-use development of this scale has taken investors’ interest.
If you want to know more about recent developments in Punjab, and what it means for the real estate sector, check out this blog.
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