The real estate sector has emerged as the engine of growth and catalyst for the national economy in recent years. Hundreds of new housing schemes have been launched in various cities of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab as the population boom is pushing the market forces to take their own course of action. There are many examples where housing projects pushed the economies of various countries to the pinnacles of development. Singapore has secured its development by launching various housing projects across the country and Dubai has turned its desert into Manhattan of Arabia where real estate prices have shot up to the maximum levels, attracting investors from around the world. Pakistanis are recorded as the third largest investors in the United Arab Emirates and flow of capital from around the world is pouring into the desert states. However, the rise and fall of the housing industry is strictly attached with the real estate sector and a small government action can ruin millions of investors and common stakeholders across Pakistan. The country’s real estate sector is booming as dozens of industries are attached with this sector from cable manufacturers to cement, bricks and steel producers.
However, there should be a note of caution for the government as well as for the people. Many housing colonies are established without getting approval from the competent authorities and thousands of people have lost their lifelong earnings to the criminal elements camouflaging in the industry. Unfortunately, the government agencies take notice of matter at a time when criminal elements reach the last stages of their illegal ventures. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has pointed out the factual position of the real estate sector, confirming that the government still has to introduce a regulatory framework to pave the way for crowdfunding. Earlier, people have lost billions of rupees to fake investment companies and Double Shah like whizkids. People are duped to invest in fake real estate concerns, modarba companies and investment firms. At the end, they lose their hard earned money and endure years of litigations without any results. The off and on appearance of such companies shows that there is a vast scope for local investment in the country if the government provides level playing field to the potential investors. The prize bond scam is the latest example how the people put their earnings at stake even they knew that there were little chances of theirsuccess in the gamble.
The government should enact news laws and encourage the real estate investors to buy shares through stock exchange. It should also ensure that the capital of the stakeholders is in safe hands. Allowing free hand to criminals means the government is unable to establish its writ in this vital sector of the economy.