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Welfare-oriented decisions

FEDERAL Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday took several important decisions aimed at promoting welfare of the people, who have been waiting for practical steps by the incumbent government to improve their lot. These included construction of 135,000 apartments under Naya Pakistan Housing project, approval for establishment of Naya Pakistan Housing Authority, crackdown against electricity and gas theft, establishment of a media university in the federal capital,
The announcement by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry that the Prime Minister would launch the project for construction of twenty-five thousand apartments for federal government employees in Islamabad on April 17 would widely be hailed as it marks formal start of Naya Pakistan Housing scheme under which five million houses are to be built in five years. This would be one of the concrete measures aimed at providing relief to the people and hopefully construction would be completed in a time-bound manner. There is already Pakistan Housing Foundation (PHF) but its performance has not been up to the mark and the projects launched by it have been marred by legal, administrative and financial constraints. There are also complaints that the projects that were completed or are under completion also face enormous challenges as allottees have been left at the mercy of circumstances in the absence of necessary infrastructure and basic facilities like water and power. Hopefully, Naya Pakistan Housing project would not be allowed to meet the same fate. Similarly, we have been hearing since long about crackdown against electricity and gas theft but the campaign is apparently confined to papers and media alone as large-scale theft continues at the cost of honest consumers. Areas of massive theft are fully known to the federal and provincial governments and they should extend full cooperation to distribution companies to eliminate the theft. The decision of the cabinet to direct all departments to use Pakistan Post for official communication would also help revive Pakistan Post. The department has necessary structure and manpower to serve the masses in a better manner especially when quality of service of private courier companies is on the decline. However, drastic measures are needed to reform the working of the department to make it financially sustainable and become a tool to serve the people.