CDA in the line of fire regarding auction of commercial plots

Published: August 2, 2016


ISLAMABAD: Members of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to submit a detailed report regarding auction of commercial plots during the last 20 years within two weeks.

Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat met with Senator Talha Mehmood in the chair at the Conference Hall of Parliament Lodges here on Monday.

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CDA Chairperson Maroof Afzal told the committee that the authority had record of all auctioned plots, and shared details of plots auctioned during 2008 to 2016.

He said that during the last eight years 180 plots were sold at an amount of Rs49 billion of which Rs37 billion had been recovered, while Rs11.9 billion were still outstanding in this head.

At this Senator Tanveer Khan said that he had asked a detailed report about auctioned plots during the last 20 years and for what purpose they were auctioned.

He also directed the CDA chairperson to submit details with original files regarding Margalla Tower, Al-Mustafa Tower, Irfan Mansion, Capital Heights, Centaurus Mall, U-Fone Tower, Lahore Grammar School, aviary at the Lake View Park, and of embassy lounges and others, before the committee.

At this the committee chairperson asked the CDA to submit the whole record within two weeks.

The CDA chairperson told the standing committee that a total of 112 inquiries against the civic agency’s employees were being initiated on corruption charges of which many of them had been forward to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the FIA.

Senator Kamil Ali Agha said that people were still working on their posts that were being under investigation and those people were exercising their influence to stop investigation against themselves.

The FIA director apprised the committee members that a total of 19 investigations were underway, of which details of seven investigations were submitted before the standing committee.

He told the committee that as far as the issue of development of illegal katchi abadis went, 44 employees of the civic agency were found involved, of which 38 had been arrested.

As regards the CDA’s walkie-talkie communication system, the FIA director said that the project cost was Rs30 million of which Rs3.5 million were embezzled.

He said that the initial estimated cost of Ladies Club was Rs182 million, which escalated to Rs594 million.

The FIA director also shared details of how a mere roadside hut was transformed into the La-Montana Hotel by the CDA officials.

The committee members also sought details about the lease agreement of Monal Restaurant.

The FIA director told the committee members that a sale of eight commercial plots and three farm houses cost Rs235 million in losses to the national exchequer.

He said that the Shifa Hospital had encroached over 2.5 acres of land, which was worth Rs2 billion.

At this, the chairman and members of the committee expressed their displeasure, and said that Shifa was charging millions from patients on a daily basis.

The committee recommended that the CDA must auction the encroached land.

The FIA director also apprised the committee that some people were given not just plots but also provided cash. He said that 24 such plots were given.

At this, the committee chairperson summoned the NAB officials in the next meeting.

The standing committee was also told that 97 CDA employees had been given promotion out of turn by ignoring rules and regulations.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2016.

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