ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Housing and Works (MoH&W) Tuesday informed that the estimated cost of total 413 projects allocated under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) is around Rs344,767.271 million for 2022-23.

The meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works was held here at Parliament House on Tuesday with Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan in chair.

The committee was briefed about the budgetary proposals relating to the PSDP for the financial year 2023-24.

Senior Joint Secretary for Ministry of Housing and Works apprised the committee that a total of 413 projects have been selected for the year 2023-24 which includes 149 ongoing projects, 20 approved unfunded projects,244 new projects and the estimated cost of these projects is around Rs. 344,767.271 million.

The Senate Committee deliberated on the illegal construction/ encroachment in government residences. Asfaq Ghuman, Senior Joint Secretary ministry of Housing and Works, apprised the committee that no construction in government residences could be done without the prior approval from ministry.

However, a committee has been constituted in the Estate Office which has conducted survey of residences and issued notices to the allottees involved in illegal construction.

The Chairman Committee directed the ministry to provide the list of allottees to whom the notices have been issued and recommended the departments of alleged allottees to take stern action against them under the Efficiency and Discipline Rules.

Moreover, as to matter relating to appointments made by FGEHA during the last two years, Zeshan Qasim, Director Admin, informed the committee that the jobs in various positions were advertised last year and recruitment process was conducted through NUST and NTS testing services.

Senator Saifullah Abro asked the ministry to provide copy of advertisement and tender through which the services of former agencies have been acquired.

However, the ministry failed to provide the same. Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan questioned as to how many persons have been appointed in recent period. To which, Director Admin told the committee that 95 persons have been appointed against the 97 advertised posts.

The Chairman Committee stated that these appointments have been made without following due process and therefore directed the ministry to initiate inquiry against the persons appointed against the said posts.

Senator Saifullah Abro questioned as to why a nominal amount has been fixed for the development schemes in Larkana, Sukkur and Shaheed Benazirabad Division.

Officials told that the reduction in funds allocation is mainly because the government has curtailed the PSDP budget to great extent. The Chairman Committee recommended the ministry to increase the budget allocation for the aforementioned projects.

The meeting was attended by Senator Saifullah Abro, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Falak Naz, Federal Minister for Housing and Works Maulana Abdul Wasay, Secretary for Ministry of Housing and Works Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, Senior Joint Secretary for Ministry of Housing and Works Muhammad Ashfaq Ghumman, Director Admin Zeeshan Qasim. Other senior officers of relevant departments were also in attendance.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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