Ban on high-rise buildings be lifted
‘KARACHI HAS LOST ALMOST RS 200 BILLION INVESTMENT DUE TO SANCTION’
Chairman ABAD Mohsin Sheikhani talks to National Courier
The fourth edition of ABAD Expo-2017 is being held from August12 to 14 2017. Over 0.5 million people are expected to participate in ABAD Expo and more than Rs 500 billion worth agreements with the international participants likely to be inked during the three-day event. Delegations and experts from Singapore, the UAE, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries are attending the event. Mohsin Sheikhani, Chairman, Association of Builders & Developers (ABAD), while talking about ABAD Expo 2017 greeted all the delegates, exhibitors and the visitors. He said this is a show where we provide a sketch of futuristic living. Their presence has always raised our enthusiasm in shaping the living standards from better to the best. We at ABAD firmly believe that housing is not only important to families and communities it has a diverse effect on the image-building of the nation too. I and my fellow members do take pride in declaring that for the past recent years we have not only uplifted the image of housing industry, but also reshaped the image of our Country. Replying to various queries from “National Courier,” he said that Karachi has lost almost Rs 200 billion investment due to a ban on construction of high-rise buildings in the city. The country was facing shortage of 12 million houses and construction of 12 million houses can fetch investment of US$180 billion. Sheikhani further said that the ABAD had decided to build low-cost houses for people of low income group and ABAD was initiating such housing schemes from Islamabad. He said that more than 150 local and international companies were expected to participate in ABAD Expo-2017. Although ABAD is striving for promotion of national economy, the restrictions being imposed on construction industry are creating disastrous impacts on such efforts. Currently there is per year demand of housing units stands at a height of 400,000 units across the country. Merely, 150,000 units are constructed every year, which in turn raises the height of backlog by 250,000 housing units per year. Millions of square meter tiles are imported each year to fulfill the demand of the construction fraternity. Approximately a million ton of steel bars are imported from all across the globe to manage the construction needs in Pakistan. He said, having an opportunity to own a home or a property is deemed more significant than anything else among the masses. Sheikhani said, “As I have mentioned above the most esteemed dream of any individual is to own a home or property, but in-affordability has outshined the dream of millions of people. Under such circumstances, ABAD has taken a step further in fulfilling this dream by introducing “Low Cost & Affordable Housing” scheme, achieving another milestone for the betterment of the society and for uplifting the standards of living across the nation.” ABAD EXPO 2017 brings together all construction-related stakeholders on one platform. This is the largest event dedicated to knowledge sharing, championing good practice and problem solving. The environment is such that the entire industry is able to look, talk, plan, learn and conduct business. Also, they prove answers for what, when, where and how we build our future. ABAD EXPO 2017 is the largest platform available for professionals related to construction along with associated service providers. The event celebrates this exciting and dynamic industry and will be a place to network, debate, discover innovation and celebrate excellence. This is designed to ultimately drive forward and promote construction. This show has been managed by close collaboration with partners and stakeholders, and will tackle some of the key issues facing the construction industry. Anyone in construction, whether Contractors, Clients, Architects, Real Estate Agents, Manufacturers, and Developers, have shared interest in growing such a vital sector of the economy, and that can only happen through partnership, and by coming together, as we have done in our previous sessions since 2014, and will be taking it to the new heights in future. To another question, the Chairman ABAD stated;”
We are bringing together those involved in the building and construction industry from across the nation and beyond borders for purposes of mutual advantage and cooperation. He said that ABAD EXPO 2017 is the largest event of its kind in Pakistan, attracting industrial professionals for the fourth consecutive year. Elaborating further he said through the auspicious platform of ABAD and with aggressive marketing, thousands of targeted consumers and the trade visitors will attend the exhibition to meet suppliers and manufacturers of: Building, Materials, Doors and Windows, Bathroom, Energy Efficiency and Solar Projects, Kitchen, Roofing, Fencing and Gates, Flooring, Pools and Spas, Lighting, Susceptibility Solutions, Heating & Cooling, Finishing and Interior etc. Today, ABAD has in its fold more than 800 leading construction companies of the country. Most of its members’ offices are equipped with up-to-date systems of designing, cost control, project management and latest civil engineering techniques to minimize the cost of construction. The association operates on democratic lines with election of One Chairman, Senior Vice Chairman, Vice Chairman, Regional Chairman and Managing Committees and One Chairman from each of its two regions i.e., Southern Region and Northern Region for a full term of year. As a representative organization of the country’s builders and developers, ABAD has made a valuable contribution in the formulation of National Housing Policy, Sindh Building Control Authority Ordinance and Bye-Laws of Cantonment Boards. It has also played a leading role in securing and increase in the House Building Finance Corporation component of housing loans as well as the allocation to HBFC in the Federal Budget. To another question, he replied that in Karachi ABAD has played a pivotal role in procurement of land for its members and also for the issuance of no objection to them by Karachi Development Authority. Other major achievements of ABAD include increasing the covered area of flats, fixation of the selling price of housing units, inclusion of a provision of escalation, simplification of the procedure for the permission to mortgage and registration of leases, increase in the period of completion and streamlining of documentation procedures regularly. Although there is a pressing requirement for houses in Karachi yet on account of non-availability of infrastructure and other amenities, some schemes cannot be developed due to scarcity, efforts to remove these bottlenecks are continuing on all possible levels. A safe shelter to live in is recognized the world over as a fundamental human right and that is the vision behind ABAD’s efforts and ventures, Mohsin Sheikhani concluded.
Interview by: Nasir Mahmood Photos by: Sultan Soomro