FAISALABAD  - State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), in collaboration with commercial banks, organised a ‘Mera Pakistan-Mera Ghar Mela’ here on Saturday.

The objective of holding the Mela was to increase awareness regarding affordable housing financing scheme introduced jointly by the SBP and the government. In 2020, SBP adopted several measures to support the provision of financing for housing and construction sector. The government of Pakistan augmented these efforts by introducing the government markup subsidy scheme, which was now commonly known as Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar (MPMG) markup subsidy scheme. State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir performed ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of Mela in an inaugural session attended by dignitaries from public and private sectors.

The two-day event had been organised in collaboration with (Naya Pakistan Housing & Development Authority) NAPHDA, commercial banks and their allied builders and developers. The banks and builders/developers have set up stalls and kiosks for information to visitors. The commercial banks facilitated and encouraged interested applicants to submit their applications at the stalls. Addressing the audience, SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir expressed his pleasure and said the Mela was providing a unique opportunity to all key stakeholders to provide a one-stop solution to creating awareness under one roof.

He said that MPMG scheme was envisioned to provide affordable housing solutions to low and middle income groups in the country. He acknowledged banks’ efforts in making MPMG a success story. He said that to-date, banks had approved Rs157 billion under MPMG and Rs 56 billion had so far been released. Mortgage financing had largely been ignored by banks for one or the other reason in the past. Sharing his views on the pickup of financing under MPMG, he said that progress made so far was commendable and that achieving the target of giving an opportunity to every family to own a house, was desirable.

He showed confidence that if banks continue with the same zeal, they could achieve this formidable task. Assuring full support of banks and SBP for promoting MPMG, Dr Baqir urged the business community of Faisalabad, including members of chamber of commerce and business groups to encourage their employees who do not own a house to avail financing under the scheme. Commenting on the successful experience of organizing the Mela, Dr. Baqir advised the banks to arrange focused programmes at the premises of major employing firms in Faisalabad and other cities to offer MPMG financing facility to their employees. He also advised banks to further speed up their processing time, and mobilize more resources for the promotion of housing solutions especially to low waged people.

During the inaugural event, SBP officials presented details of the scheme and its progress and few bank customers, who availed financing under MPMG, also shared their experiences.

The event was attended by prominent personalities including officials from Ministry of Housing, Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner Faisalabad, Presidents of Banks, Vice Chancellors of Universities, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, senior members of business associations and business firms and builders as well as developers etc.

It is pertinent to mention that banks have taken several initiatives to promote MPMG housing finance including allocation of 50 per cent of their branches to facilitate financing under MPMG, preparing income assessment model to facilitate informal income applicants and establishing a joint call centre to address queries and concerns of potential customers.

The banks have also provided e-tracking systems to applicants to track the progress of their requests and have simplified loan application form and relevant documentary requirements.

They have also conducted extensive social, print and electronic media campaigns to promote awareness about the scheme.

A panel discussion about the low cost housing scheme was also held on the occasion.