NA: (1000 colonies for low-income families to be constructed: NA told)

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Thursday that the Prime Minister has announced a housing programme for construction of one thousand colonies of five hundred low cost houses each which will be allotted to homeless low-income families throughout the country.

Minister for Housing and Works Akram Khan Durrani told the House during question hour that the National Housing Authority has completed initial planning and the provinces are allocating land for this purpose.

In addition, the authority is planning to launch the low cost housing scheme for low-income persons in Sector 1-12 Islamabad in which about 4200 apartment will be constructed.

Answering a question, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali informed that scheduled electricity load-shedding is being carried out in the country while forced load-shedding is being carried out in the areas of huge land losses. He pointed out that there is no load-shedding for industrial sector.

Parliamentary Secretary for Industries and Production Rao Ajmal Khan told the House that the government is making every possible effort to make Pakistan Steel Mills a profitable entity.

He said it is fact that Pakistan Steel Mills is continuously running in loss for last many years. He said no corruption has been reported since last over one year and transparency is being ensured in procurement mechanism.

Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Mohammad Afzal Khan told the House that there is no discriminatory treatment with the exporters of Balochistan who export goods to Afghanistan.

He was responding to a calling attention notice moved by Mahmood Khan Achakzai and others regarding discriminatory treatment of Customs officials with the exporters of Balochistan who export goods to Afghanistan and vice versa whereby they are asked to pay 100% customs duty, in dollars, in advance but not the exporters of rest of the provinces.

He said exports from Pakistan are governed under Export Policy Order and exports of perishable items like fruits and vegetables can be exported to Afghanistan through Chaman and Torkham in Pakistani currency.