Govt to set up entity to sell property

FGPMA will own, manage and operate state-owned assets to generate revenue


Zafar Bhutta July 16, 2021
There had been several unsuccessful attempts in the past to make use of some of the assets for generating economic returns. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The government has decided to establish Federal Government Properties Management Authority (FGPMA) to sell state-owned properties to generate revenue.

The Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Division apprised the cabinet in a recent meeting that the federal government owned a vast tract of urban and rural property throughout the length and breadth of the country.

These fixed assets were owned, operated and managed by the federal ministries, divisions and organisations under their control. Many of these lands had gained value over time due to expansion of urban areas and growth of commercial activities.

However, most of the government entities had not been able to manage these assets optimally. In fact, these were beset with multiple problems like encroachments, illegal occupation, etc. Despite directions, most of the government assets were not being utilised in an economically viable manner. There had been several unsuccessful attempts in the past to make use of some of the assets for generating economic returns through sale, privatisation, public private partnership, lease, etc.

However, there had been little success due to variety of reasons. Managing assets, especially land, was a specialised function and none of the existing government organisations had the exclusive mandate and capacity to perform this function in a manner where these assets generate valuable returns for the economy.

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Such functions were required to be performed by a dedicated professional agency/organisation. The federal cabinet, on a presentation made by Punjab Central Business District Project (CBDA) CEO, directed the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives to place the summary for establishment of such an organisation ie, National Asset Management Authority (NAMA) before the cabinet vide its decision taken on April 13, 2021.

Due to possible confusion with another proposed agency under the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the name for the organisation was proposed as ‘Federal Government Properties Management Authority.’

It was, therefore, proposed that a new organisation, FGPMA, may be established to own, manage, and operate properties of the federal government. FGPMA should have the necessary legal powers and authority to develop assets transferred to it through various modes including sale, lease, PPP, etc to ensure best value for money of the government assets. The authority would be required to develop a business plan and report back to the federal government on a regular basis.

Various iterations of the draft law for establishment of FGPMA had been carried out with stakeholders. The draft law was duly vetted by the Ministry of Law and Justice. Views and comments on the vetted draft were sought from the Finance Division, followed by consultations with the Ministry of Law & Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Housing & Works and Establishment Division.

It was proposed that approval of the federal cabinet, in principle, may be solicited for legislation in respect of establishment of FGPMA under rule 27 (1) read with rule 16 (1)(a) of Rules of Business 1973.In view of the above, approval of the cabinet was solicited to the proposal.

The cabinet considered the summary titled ‘Establishment of Federal Government Properties Management Authority (FGPMA)’ dated June 29, 2021 and approved the proposal.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2021.

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