Pakistan Minister Urges Wise Use of Agricultural Land Amid Housing Demand

The Punjab government forms a committee to address the conversion of agricultural land into housing, balancing the need for housing and preserving farmland for Pakistan's food security and financial stability.

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Rizwan Shah
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Pakistan Minister Urges Wise Use of Agricultural Land Amid Housing Demand

Pakistan Minister Urges Wise Use of Agricultural Land Amid Housing Demand

The Punjab Local Government Minister chaired a ministerial committee meeting to discuss the use of farmland and the rapid conversion of agricultural areas around cities into housing societies. The committee decided to form subcommittees to gather data from across Punjab for further deliberations on the issue.

During the meeting, the Local Government Minister stressed the need for wise use of agricultural land to meet the growing residential needs of the population. He emphasized a shift towards horizontal rather than vertical construction to discourage maximum use of land for construction purposes. The minister's comments come amid plans by the Punjab government to legitimize commercial use of agricultural land in different areas.

The Agriculture Minister also expressed concern over unapproved housing schemes in agricultural areas, which are affecting agricultural production and causing sewage water problems in villages. The committee aims to ensure the stability of the real estate business while also protecting valuable agricultural land. Improving the mechanism for approval of housing schemes and implementing measures district-wise in more commercial districts were also discussed.

Why this matters: Pakistan, despite being an agricultural country, imports food items worth $5 billion annually and faces challenges like crop productivity stagnation, decreasing crop area, and loss of agricultural land to housing projects. Balancing the need for housing with preserving productive farmland is crucial for Pakistan's food security and financial stability.

The ministerial committee plans to gather more data and continue deliberations to address the complex issue of agricultural land conversion. "The committee aims to ensure the stability of the real estate business and the protection of agricultural land," a statement from the meeting said. Finding solutions that accommodate housing needs while minimizing the impact on agriculture will be key as Pakistan's population continues to grow.

Key Takeaways

  • Punjab govt formed subcommittees to gather data on farmland conversion to housing.
  • Minister stressed need for horizontal construction to preserve agricultural land.
  • Govt plans to legitimize commercial use of agricultural land in some areas.
  • Pakistan imports $5B in food annually despite being an agricultural country.
  • Ministerial committee aims to balance housing needs and protect farmland.