Senators want third-party audit of housing societies

Subpanel notes audits by CDA look like photocopies of each other

Shahzad Anwar February 10, 2018
Parliamentarians call for a reaudit of private housing societies. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Discontent with an audit of four housing societies, a panel of parliamentarians called for re-auditing private housing societies in the capital through an independent third party.

The Senate sub-committee on Cabinet Secretariat was held at the Parliament House on Friday with Senator Kulsoom Parveen in the chair.

Apart from discussing the four-year progress of Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA), the sub-committee reviewed whether its recommendations on different housing societies were implemented.

The committee also deliberated over an amendment regarding housing societies in CDA by-laws.

Sir Syed Memorial Society, Swan Garden Housing Society, Jammu Kashmir Housing Society, Senate Housing Society and Interior Ministry Housing Society.

Parveen reprimanded the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICTA) administration for failing to implement orders of the committee. The committee had decided to act on a proposal by Senator Hidayatullah regarding the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Housing Society and the Gulberg Housing Society.

The ICT Circle Registrar responded by saying that a cheque is expected next week.

With respect to the Sir Syed Memorial Society, Senator Parveen said that the society was established to research the life and work of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.

“Contrary to this the [Sir Syed Memorial Complex] building has been rented out at Rs25 million,” she said, adding that there was a need for a fresh audit of the society by a third party.

The committee was told that the Sir Syed Memorial Complex will be by June in accordance with court orders.

She added that the audit of four housing societies including OGDCL, Senate, Jammu and Kashmir and Swan Garden conducted by the ICT was not admissible since the audit reports appeared to be photocopies of each other.

She also recommended fresh audit for these housing societies from a third party.

Senator Parveen also sought detailed report about the Gulberg Housing Society, including the number of plots and particulars of payments.

She said that 90 per cent of administrators in housing societies had misused their powers and urged that article 62/63 should also be applicable to bureaucrats.

The committee was told that the Swan Garden Housing Society was registered in 1989 and the last elections for its board were held in 2015. Moreover, it had received a no-objection certificate (NOC) in 2005 but it had recently been cancelled by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

CDA Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kiyani explained that the NOC was cancelled because the society had failed to allocate land for a graveyard.

The housing society’s president, however, told the committee that the ICT had forcefully taken an audit report without consulting the society administration.

He further complained that two blue-eyed administrators were appointed to the society who illegally sold plots worth Rs900 million.

At this, the committee directed that the society should be audited by a third party.

Kiyani further told the committee that there are 500 parks in the federal capital which are controlled by the CDA.

Parveen reminded Kiyani that these parks were in a deplorable condition where wild animals and birds roam.

She went on to complain that there were a lot of problems due to pollution in the storm drains and the environment while the city was facing a shortage of water.

At this, the special secretary of the cabinet division said that the water shortage could be overcome by through desalination.

He added that birds pose a grave threat to aeroplanes and helicopters. Hence, before issuing NOCs to societies, the condition of bio-garden should be mandatory. 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2018.