Continued absence: Senators to move privilege motions against CDA chief, IC secretary

Senate panel asks civic body to provide details of plots allotted to charity establishments


Shahzad Anwar December 29, 2016
Dr Saeed Ilahi presenting shield to Mayor CDA Anser Aziz during his visit to PRCS Headquarters. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Thursday decided to move privilege motion against Capital Development Authority Chairman and Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz and the secretary of Islamabad Club for their absence from the panel’s meeting.

The panel further directed the civic body to submit details of plots allotted in the capital to charity establishments.

During a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat at the Cabinet Secretariat on Thursday, the committee’s chair Senator Talha Mehmood said the CDA had claimed to have allotted several plots in Islamabad for the betterment of education and health sectors, but the public was not benefitting from them.

Mehmood pointed out that a charity plot was allotted to Al-Shifa Hospital, which, instead of operating on welfare basis, was charging significant fees from patients and making large profits for the owners. He added that all philanthropists had offered financial support to Shifa Foundation, but poor and deserving patients were not being provided affordable health facilities.

The senator claimed that he had provided a guarantee for poor patients, but the hospital turned down the request to provide them with subsidised health services.

At this, Senator Yousaf Badini complained that plots which CDA had allotted for charitable projects were now were being resold on the open market.

After hearing arguments from various members of the committee, Senator Mehmood asked the CDA to provide details of all charity plots allotted in the capital, including the reasons for allotment, in the next meeting of the panel, which is scheduled to be held in two weeks.

The panel also directed CDA to provide land for the development of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (Szabmu).

This is not the first time parliamentarians have decided to move a privilege motions against Aziz.

Islamabad Club administrator

In response to a question raised by Senator Mehmood, the committee was told that the post of Islamabad Club Administrator had been vacant for several years and that the club’s secretary had been serving as the administrator for many years, even though the appointment was supposed to be for just three years.

The committee’s chairman said that the process for acquiring the membership of the club was complicated and the initial fee was Rs1.5 million per person.

Transfer policy

The committee recommended that the Establishment Division review its policy regarding the transfer and postings of BPS-20 and BPS-21 grade officers from Balochistan.

Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Shahi said that the Establishment Division, through its letter on December 8, 2015, had stated that officers of PSP and DMG groups in BS-20 and BS-21 with Balochistan domiciles would remain in Balochistan for the first 10 years. During this time, they may not serve in other provinces or in foreign countries.

Committee members argued that this restriction must be lifted or that this policy should be extended to other provinces as well.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2016.

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