In a bid to provide financing for affordable housing to low-income lenders, JS Bank and the Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PMRC) have signed a credit guarantee agreement.
Along with JS Bank, the State Bank of Pakistan, and five other banks have signed the agreement for the “Mera Pakistan, Mera Ghar” initiative, a newly developed mark-up subsidy.
The “Credit Guarantee Scheme for Low Income Housing” set in motion by the Credit Guarantee Trust aims to give primary mortgage lenders around 40 percent risk coverage to reduce mortgage lenders’ credit risk.
The signing event was chaired by Reza Baqir, SBP Governor. Other attendees included SBP Deputy Governor Sima Kamil, JS Bank CEO and President Basir Shamsie, along with several other senior executives from PMRAC and SBP.
“At JS Bank, we are committed to serving the people of Pakistan. We are pleased to play our role in driving affordable housing finance across the country and aim to help people own the home of their dreams,” CEO Shamsie said while lauding the initiative.
PMRC has played a pivotal role when it comes to increasing affordable housing in Pakistan through a mortgage market. Its CEO and MD Mudassir H Khan said, “This Credit Guarantee Scheme will pave way for the banking industry to extend housing finance to the low-income group, a market segment which has neglected for long.”
The attendees appreciated the State Bank of Pakistan’s Governor and Deputy Governor, the World Bank, Ministry of Finance, and Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority for their efforts in making the current government’s and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s dream of affordable housing for the country possible.
Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme
Committed to his vision of affordable housing in the country, in 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme for low-income groups. Through this initiative, these groups are provided houses on easy installments.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had launched the second phase of the registration for the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme in mid-2019. He also launched the web portal through which the applicants can file their requests while sitting at home.
At the launching ceremony, the Prime Minister had said that the cabinet would approve necessary legislation to enable commercial banks to extend the facility of loans to those who could not afford to buy a house.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had also approved the exemption of sales tax and fixed tax on the construction work in the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme in December 2019. The premier had ordered the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) to exempt sales tax from the housing project.
PM Khan said that the housing sector is a priority for the incumbent government, and promoting this sector will not only boost growth in 40 related industries but also ensure the creation of employment opportunities for skilled labor and the youth.
With its headquarters in Karachi, JS Bank was established in 2007 as a result of a merger between two mega corporates; Jahangir Siddiqui Investment Bank Limited and American Express Bank Limited. It aims to become the biggest mortgage providers and SME banks in Pakistan and has recently hit the Rs. 400 billion mark.
JS Bank has achieved an array of milestones. To name a few, In 2019, it became the only Pakistani bank to have been accredited by the Green Climate Fund. In 2020, it was honored with the Asiamoney Awards for the best bank for CSR and SMEs. In addition, the bank won the prestigious Certificate of Merit in the Banking Sector in December 2020.
Committed to its role as a catalyst towards Pakistan’s progress and prosperity, the bank hopes to continue this journey of impact by providing a variety of innovative conventional and digital solutions in the years ahead, says CEO Shamsie.