New housing scheme for overseas Pakistanis a game-changer: Imran Khan

Last updated on August 28, 2021 at 02.16 pm

Overseas Pakistanis will now be able to realise their dream of having a house in their home country by availing of a central bank housing finance scheme launched on Friday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the first-of-its-kind initiative for over nine million non-resident Pakistanis and termed it as a game-changer for the country’s economy.

“Overseas Pakistanis are our big assets and we will go all out to facilitate them to invest in the country. Products such as Roshan Apna Ghar under Roshan Digital Account [RDA] will help meet the current account deficit and achieve sustaiable economic growth in coming years,” Imran said at the launch ceremony.

He said the PTI government is striving hard to provide a corruption-free system to overseas Pakistanis so that they can come and invest without any fear of fraud and illegal occupation of their properties.

“We have made some good progress on the ease of doing business and will further improve our rankings this year. The ultimate objective is to attract investment from non-resident Pakistanis,” Imran added.

Speaking at the occasion, Minister of Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin said that the innovation of RDA has proved to be a huge success and instrumental in receiving substantial investment of over $1.4 billion in Naya Pakistan Certificates. He lauded the introduction of Roshan Apna Ghar by State Bank of Pakistan and said that it is another splendid idea of the SBP and will attract substantial investment in the real estate sector.

“The Ministry of Finance with the help of State Bank will make every effort to introduce new avenues of investments for overseas Pakistanis,” Tarin said.

Earlier, introducing the new product, SBP governor Raza Baqir said that Roshan Apna Ghar is an initiative of the SBP for non-resident Pakistanis to buy, build or renovate their homes in Pakistan through their own investment or bank financing.

“Overseas Pakistanis will be able to complete their transaction completely, remotely and digitally, and their investment will be fully repatriable,” the governor said. He elaborated that financing is available in both conventional and Shariah-compliant variants at attractive rates for a period of three to 25 years.

“The SBP, with the support of all stakeholders, will continue to bring as much ease as possible for overseas Pakistanis,” Baqir said.

He said that RDA is now a very well-established brand, which has so far connected over 215,000 expats with the country’s banking system and attracted over $2.05 billion since its launch in September last year.

“It took about eight months to cross the first major milestone of $1 billion whereas the next $1 billion were received in less than four months, which is indicative of the increasing momentum.”

PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan said, the programme is being jointly launched with the collabiration of the finance ministry and the State Bank of Pakistan, the central bank.

Under Roshan Apna Ghar, two types of financing facilities are being offered.

First, standard financing in which both lien based and non-lien based financing is available.

In lien-based financing, the NRPs can obtain house finance facility against lien on their RDA deposit balances or Naya Pakistan Certificates. Banks can finance up to 100 per cent of the property value for purchase or construction of a house; for renovation of house, financing is capped at 40 per cent of the property value.

Non-lien based financing is the typical housing finance offered against mortgage of the property to be purchased; banks may fund up to 85 per cent of the property value for purchase or construction of house, and up to 30 per cent of the property value for renovation of house.

Second, the house financing facility under Mera Paksitan Mera Ghar (Government mark-up subsidy scheme) is also available for RDA holders under Roshan Apna Ghar product as per already defined criteria under respective tiers. In this case, the financing rates applicable to the Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar scheme would apply. Insurance of the property, up to the extent of financing amount, is also free.


Muzaffar Rizvi Business Editor/News Editor of Khaleej Times is a well-connected journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the mainstream journalism since 1997, covering the UAE's economy and key sectors. He holds a post-graduate degree in Economics and has won many awards for authentic and insightful reports on global and regional businesses and economic trends.