LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Punjab government has decided to start low-cost housing scheme for the low-income groups and the project will formally be launched on the first of Ramazan. Presiding over a meeting held in connection with the low-cost housing schemes in the province, he said that the low-cost housing schemes launched with the title Aashiana will be a state of the art project of the Punjab government and provision of all the basic amenities will be ensured in these schemes and homes will be within the reach of low-income groups and the middle class for the first time in countrys history. Member National Assembly Khurram Dastagir Khan, Chairman Punjab Land Development Company and Member Provincial Assembly Sheikh Allauddin, Senior Member Board of Revenue, Chairman Planning and Development, Chairman Taskforce on Special Initiatives, Secretary Housing, Commissioner Lahore and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Bank of Punjab were also present. The CM said low-cost housing scheme project, having all modern facilities for the poor could never be accomplished in the past 63 years and that was why the people had lost faith in such schemes. He said that during the recent rains so many schemes came to light where basic amenities, including sewerage facility, were not provided and the people had to face tremendous difficulties. He said that the Punjab government would make the dream of 'Own house, Own heaven for the low- income people come true. He said that all resources would be utilised for early completion of 5000 homes in the first phase beginning on the first of Ramazan. He said that widows, orphans and the disabled would have quota in these schemes while all the homes would be allotted through balloting in a transparent manner. He said that the project of the Punjab Government would be unique in a way that the Punjab government would give concession on mark up and it would be kept in view that the installment of the home might be paid easily by the allotees. He directed that the project design should be attractive and the provision of all the basic amenities be ensured. He said that in the first phase two high rises would also be built in addition to the construction of homes in low-cost housing scheme at Souye Asil near Lahore. He said that the homes be built on urgent basis and contractors of good repute be selected for construction. He said that financial model for these homes be reviewed afresh. He said that though it was no less than a challenge to build 4000 to 5000 houses in the first phase yet all possible steps be taken to build maximum number of homes in the first phase. He expressed the hope that the chairman of the Land Development Company being a seasoned businessman, would certainly make use of his expertise in the construction of low-cost housing schemes. Earlier, Land Development Company Chairman, Sheikh Allauddin, giving briefing on the low-cost housing schemes, said that three-marla and five-marla homes would be built for the homeless with a maximum income of Rs20,000 per month and provision of all basic amenities would be ensured in these homes. He said that consultants of good repute would be selected in a transparent manner. He also spoke at length about the persons being eligible for homes in low-cost housing schemes, allotment process, financial plan, monthly installments and other issues.