The Cooperative Department of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has notified a new set of rules for cooperative housing societies which had been proposed by a department of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Prevention Committees for Reforms, formed by the NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, had reviewed ICT’s Cooperative Department. Subsequently, the committee after due deliberations with all stakeholders prepared a set of recommendations and presented it to the NAB chief.
The recommendations were approved and forwarded them the Interior Ministry. The Cooperative Department subsequently implemented the recommendations through a March 3, 2017, notification.
Per the notification, all management committees of Cooperative Housing Societies in the capital were directed to appoint a focal person from amongst them and an officer of the society who shall be held personally liable for any lapse in the society.
The focal person, the notice said, would also be responsible for sharing a weekly progress report with the circle registrar of the Cooperative Societies Department. In the case of non-compliance, the managing committee of the society would be held liable and action would be taken against them jointly and severally as per the punishments outlined in the act.
Other recommendations of NAB included in the notice were adherence to municipal by-laws where every Cooperative Housing Society would be required to furnish details of plots, their allotment, creation, subdivision or amalgamation to the concerned municipal or development authority. The housing society would be required to provide a copy of their records on an annual basis.
Further, every cooperative housing society would ensure strict adherence to the layout plan approved by the municipal or development authority and no transfer of share or interests of a member would be approved unless it is certified by the society. Moreover, it would ensure no violation of the layout plan has been committed by the transferor.
Every cooperative housing society would be required to obtain a certificate of “land audit” from the concerned authority on an annual basis.
No cooperative society, the rules said, would issue any “allotment letter” or possession certificate to its members unless it has physical possession of the land against which such letter or certificate is to be issued. No cooperative society shall change the size or location of any plot allotted to a member without seeking specific approval from the AGM.
Every cooperative society, before submitting the minutes of the annual general meeting to the registrar, would obtain clearance from the concerned municipal authority to the effect that no agenda item has been approved in violation of municipal by-laws.
No cooperative housing society shall launch a scheme or project unless it has possession of a compact piece of land, besides the title of minimum required land.
Every cooperative housing society would obtain prior approval from the concerned authority before advertising the project. Moreover, every cooperative housing society would obtain a certificate of ‘an audit’ from the concerned authority every year.
It also set up rules prescribing timelines for development including not developing any new project or scheme till 70 per cent development work has been completed on an ongoing project.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2017.