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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Housing and Works directed the Director General Estate Department to get the long outstanding survey of all those Federal Government Owned Residential Accommodations (FGORAs) completed and to take appropriate action with the help of all the concerned departments such as the PWD, the CDA, and the ICT, and submit a report to the committee at the earliest.

The committee met with MNA Dr Ibadullah in the chair at Parliament House on Wednesday.

During the course of discussion on non-completion of the outstanding survey of the FGORAs; having additional constructions and subletting by the allottees, the DG Estate Department, informed the committee that pursuant to the directions of the committee, a survey of sectors, G-6, G-7, and F-6 Islamabad was conducted.

During the visit of 3,229 houses, additional construction in 1,224 houses was found, while 262 houses were found to be partially sublet. He said that taking cognisance of the matter, allotments of 108 sublet houses were cancelled while efforts for cancellation of remaining sublet houses were underway.

The committee, while expressing concern over additional constructions in the government houses vis-à-vis subletting and directed the DG Estate Department, to take appropriate actions with the help of all the concerned departments such as PWD, CDA, and ICT, and submit a report to the committee at the earliest.

On the issue of commercial units (petrol pumps and shops) leased out by the Estate Department, the committee noted that the lease period of 20 years; being a very long span, needs to be shortened as the same will also help increase the rental income of the department.

Referring to a decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the management of the Estate Office was directed by the committee to ensure revision and enhancement of rental charges of these commercial units as per market rates on an annual basis instead of the conservative enhancement basis of 10 per cent annually. The DG Estate Department was further directed by the committee to provide a detailed report of all the commercial units with their locations and rental charges in the next meeting.

The committee was told by the DG, Pak PWD, that no Work Charged Employees (WCEs) were recruited by the PWD during the last four years except under daily wages. Regarding the issue of late completion of development schemes of the MNAs/MPAs by the PWD, the committee directed the DG PWD to issue necessary instructions to all the XENs to ensure timely completion of these development schemes and in future, completion certificate of these schemes under question may be issued subject to satisfaction by the concerned MNAs/MPAs.

About the comparison of rates being charged by the PWD and the other government department; both the federal government departments or the provincial government departments, on account of development schemes of the MNAs/MPAs, the DG PWD informed the committee that their rates were lessor as compared to other departments. The committee pended the matter with the decision to discuss the same in the next meeting.

The senior joint secretary of the ministry briefed the committee about the background, functions, projects completed and in-hand, business efforts/constraints and current/ongoing business details of Pakistan Environmental Planning and Architectural Consultants (PEPAC). He held that though the company was created with a great idea its functions remained interrupted due to its continuous shifting from one ministry to another.

The committee noted that the Ministry of Planning and Development was a more suitable ministry for the company instead of the Ministry of Housing and Works, thus, recommended the ministry to take up the matter with the relevant ministry i.e. the Ministry of Planning and Development.

Besides the Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of Housing and Works, Syed Mehmood Shah, MNA, the meeting was attended by Azhar Qayyum Nahra, Muhammad Junaid Anwar Chaudhry, Seema Mohiuddin Jameeli, Jam Abdul Karim Bijar, Salahuddin, Muhammad Abu Bakar, Makhdoom Syed Samiul Hassan Gillani, and Wajiha Qamar, MNAs/Members. The senior officers of the Ministry of Housing and Works, PEPAC, Pak PWD, and Estate Office were also present at the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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