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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Housing and Works (MoHW) has funds of Rs 377 million to pay Sindh Government for lease of Pakistan Quarters, official sources told Business Recorder.

Ministry is holding property measuring 32.13 acres on lease from the Sindh government in Garden West Area of Karachi. This property is titled as Pakistan Quarters and it comprises of 396 residential accommodations for federal government employees.

The government has planned and designed a regeneration plan which would involve re-development of the area with vertical dimension. The current occupants would be accommodated in some of the units after paying cost price.

A presentation in this context was made to the prime minister with timelines on Nov 26, 2020. The prime minister directed to make all out efforts to start the project within the given timelines.

The lease of the property had expired on July 31, 1995 and regeneration of project would only be possible after renewal of the lease. Ministry of Housing and Works has obtained vouchers amounting to Rs 377,209,756 - for the property falling in District East Karachi measuring 61160 sq. yards for which vouchers have been received from Land Utilization Department, Government of Sindh. The remaining funds will be required as and when the Provincial Government provides the vouchers.

Finance Division has accorded concurrence for additional funds amounting to Rs100.000 million from anticipated savings surrendered by the ministries/ divisions during the current financial year (2020-21) and advised that remaining requirement of funds amounting to Rs277.210 million may be met through re-appropriation from the anticipated savings as per expenditure trend shown in SAP system.

The projected savings identified by the Finance Division are, in fact, not available trends so no saving would be available.

In view of the foregoing, Ministry of Housing and Works has requested that funds amounting to Rs 377,209,756/- as payment of lease amount for the properties to the Provincial Government of Sindh may be allocated through TSG.

The Ministry of Housing and Works has sought approval of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet, being the competent forum. The funds could not be utilized due to Finance Division's policy of discontinuation of PLA accounts. Since the Finance Division has now authorized the Pak PWD for operation of PLAs, therefore, the funds seen as saving would be utilized for meeting already accrued liabilities.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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