Former President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Shahid Rasheed Butt on Thursday said that decision ofPrime Minister Imran Khan regarding lockdown is in the interest of masses ascountry cannot afford general lockdown. In a statement issued here, he said imports of sugar and cotton from Indiawill also provide relief to masses and help the textile sector run on fullcapacity to boost production, exports and employment. Shahid Rasheed Butt also hailed the decision of the Prime Minister tofacilitate the masses get bank loans for their houses on soft terms andconditions. He said that masses were facing problems due to the reluctance of some banksto provide housing loans therefore the PM has directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and National Bank to take steps to provide relief to the masses. The SBP has been asked to push commercial banks to lend, as the pace of advances is not satisfactory due to risk factor, he added. The former ICCI President said that one reason behind the reluctance of banks is the weak legal mechanism to recover the loans given to masses for the construction of their houses. He noted that banks have informed the government about their reservations while the government has promised to hammer out the issue. The business leader noted that presently there is a shortage of ten million houses while the need is increasing by three hundred and fifty thousand units per annum. Improving the foreclosure laws will trigger construction activities across the country supporting some forty allied industries reducing unemployment and increasing revenue to boosting the GDP. Despite measures taken by the central bank, commercial banks will remain reluctant to support the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, a flagship projectof the Government, unless laws are improved to their satisfaction, he said.