State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir lauded the banking industry’s success in facilitating low-cost housing finance for first-time house buyers under the Pakistan Mera Ghar programme (MPMG). Banks have received applications totaling more than Rs200 billion as of October 18, 2021, according to the most recent statistics available. Of the Rs78 billion in approved funding, Rs18 billion has been disbursed thus far. Meanwhile, the governor emphasized the importance of speeding up the approval process by banks to keep up with the demand for loans so that consumers aren’t put off by the lengthy wait. He expressed optimism that Pakistanis’ aspiration to purchase a home may become a reality if everyone worked together. Governor Baqir praised the work done so far, but he also requested stakeholders to do more to spread the word about the Government’s Markup Subsidy Scheme for Housing Finance or MPMG for short. A year ago, he continued, low-cost housing financing was virtually non-existent because commercial banks were wary of the inherent dangers. In spite of this, the government’s strong commitment to promoting housing and building activities in the country is beginning to result in a significant increase in housing and construction financing. This commitment includes NAPHDA, SBP, banks, and other players. The SBP developed an enabling regulatory framework to promote housing and construction credit in order to help with this initiative. Housing and construction loan provided by banks has increased from Rs166 billion in September last year to Rs305 billion in September 2021, representing a 139% increase and an 84% year-on-year growth. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, commercial banks in Pakistan should allocate at least 5% of their private domestic sector advances by December 2021 to housing and construction. So that each bank could work together on this, the State Bank gave quarterly targets to all of them after consulting with them one-on-one. Banks boosted their focus on this segment and, on a consolidated basis, they accomplished 94% of their allocated targets for the quarter ended September 30, 2021. Banks raised their lending to the housing and construction sector by Rs48 billion between July and September 2021, up from Rs257 billion on June 30th of that year. Banks’ realignment of their internal policy dimension/strategic focus towards the development of housing and construction is reflected in the increased lending to the sector. Banks have updated their systems and procedures in recent months, modernized and streamlined their technological platforms, and rewarded and trained their banking employees. Additionally, the banks have formed a cooperative call center to address public inquiries about MPMG, which was recently opened by Governor SBP. The call center can be reached by dialing 0-33-77-786-786. This call center will aid in resolving complaints and assisting ordinary citizens who wish to borrow under MPMG but are having difficulty meeting bank regulations. Previously, in January 2021, State Bank launched an easy-to-use online complaint resolution mechanism. The complaint resolution method consists of an IT-based portal that is backed up by a large network of State Bank and commercial bank staff that addresses applicants’ concerns and resolves complaints within a set time frame with an appropriate escalation mechanism. Additionally, SBP collaborated with NAPHDA, other government agencies, banks, and stakeholders to develop a simplified loan application, a standard facility offer letter, a prudential framework amendment, standard risk assessment criteria for builders/developers, an income proxy model, and streamlined financing documents.