Minimum Wage in Pakistan and house affordability
Pakistan minimum wage is set every year in annual budget. Minimum wage has been raised from PKR 13,000 to PKR 14,000 for the year 2016-2017. There are two different opinions on raising minimum wage. One group says minimum wage is necessary for better life style. But according to other group, increase in minimum wage results in less hiring of labor force. But million dollar question is, ‘can people on minimum wage afford to buy a house in Pakistan’?
House price to minimum wage ratio in Pakistan
If we take small houses in Pakistan, 3 Marla, average price is 50 Lakh rupees. So a person on minimum wage can buy 3 Marla house in Pakistan after spending 30 years of salary. Whereas world affordable house price to income ratio is 1:5. This clearly shows that houses are highly unaffordable in Pakistan and people on minimum wages cannot buy a house.
Providing affordable housing to people on minimum wage
Building government housing
Best way to provide housing facility to people on minimum wage is to build government housing. Government of Pakistan needs to build cheap flats in bulk quantity to provide housing assistance to people on minimum wages. Ashiana Housing Scheme is a great step in this regard but this is even for the low middle class people. For people on minimum wage, government of Pakistan should build free homes. Government of Pakistan should include housing development in its infrastructure developments. Pakistan urgently needs to address the housing shortage, which is reaching 10 million units.
It’s very hard for the people on minimum wages to afford a decent home in Pakistan. Government of Pakistan should initiate housing assistance for the people on minimum wages. Unless we take prompt actions, housing will be a distant dream for people on minimum wages.