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The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is said to have "illegally" allotted accommodations to chairman National Accountability (NAB), prosecutor general NAB, and a woman parliamentary secretary inside the Minister's Enclave. A parliamentary panel was informed by Housing and Works Ministry officials that a federal minister, state minister, attorney general for Pakistan and adviser to the prime minister having the status of a minister can be allotted a house at the Minister's Enclave after ratification from the cabinet.
The allotment of accommodations based on favouritism and political affiliations at the Minister's Enclave, Gulshan-e-Jinnah and Federal Lodges echoed in a parliamentary committee as ruling PTI has housed all its "cronies" by blatantly violating the laid down rules. The meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works, which met here with Senator Kabir Shahi in the chair, was informed by the secretary housing and works that rules are yet to be framed for allotting accommodations at Gulshan-e-Jinnah - a 201-room state-owned property, occupied by political cronies of respective governments since long.
Kabir Shahi said that according to the list provided to the committee, 9 people have been allotted houses at Minister's Enclave in brazen violation of rules, as none of them enjoy the status of a minister. He said that all those "illegally" occupying official accommodations by using their political connections must be thrown out, as everyone is equal before.
Secretary Housing Imran Zeb Khan said that there are 201 rooms in Gulshan-e-Jinnah, which are without any furniture. He said that according to the 1983 policy, it was a tourist resort, and a room can be allotted to officials from grade-17 and above for only ten days, but people have been living there for several years using their political connections. He continued that at Federal Lodges, there is the same issue, as people have been living there for the last several years.
The rent being charged from the residents occupying apartments at Gulshan-e-Jinnah, Federal Lodges, Chanba House and Qasr-e-Naz left the committee members shell-shocked as per day charges start from Rs 150 to Rs 330 due to which Qasr-e-Naz in Karachi and Chanba House in Lahore are incurring Rs 10 million and Rs 2 million losses per annum respectively. The secretary housing informed the committee the a proposal is under consideration to revise the rents and leasing out these government accommodations to generate income as millions of rupees can be earned if these accommodations are rented out.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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