ISLAMABAD: Traders in the federal capital on Monday appreciated the government for making progress on passing a rent control bill for the city. The National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior had recently passed the Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance (Amendment) Bill 2001, with consensus.
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Ahmed Waheed, Senior Vice President Tahir Abbasi and Vice President Saifur Rahman Khan in a statement on Monday termed the passage of the bill from the committee a “very positive development” as it will go some way in addressing a longstanding demand of traders in the city.
They said that the amended bill for rent law has previously been presented in the National Assembly by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) governments, but it could not be passed by the body due to unidentified reasons.
They added that traders of the federal capital have been struggling for a balanced rent control law since 1984 and have even resulted in strikes by traders on the issue. But thus far, all efforts of the traders have been in vain.
Now, however, the ICCI officials hoped that the parliament will soon pass the amended rent control bill which will facilitate the growth of businesses in the city.
Waheed said that the amended bill envisioned the creation of a mediation council which will be headed by the ICCI president or his nominee as the convener while representatives of tenants and landlords will comprise its members.
Any and every dispute between landlords and tenants will be resolved as per this act, including disputes of goodwill. He hoped that the mediation council will become an effective forum to address concerns of traders and landlords by resolving disputes.
The amended bill entails that every agreement between a landlord and a tenant will have to be presented before a controller for record-keeping. The controller, before proceeding with a case, will refer it to the mediation council.
In case there is no settlement, the controller will proceed with the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2019.