The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday declared that properties purchased by the Employees’ Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) were bought in a non-transparent manner, causing huge losses to the state-owned institution, The Express Tribune has learnt.
According to a report that the FIA’s Punjab chapter will submit before the apex court on July 16, the sellers of six properties have voluntarily agreed to return the money, amounting to Rs7.087 billion, back to EOBI, and have submitted their offers on stamp papers in this regard.
These properties were purchased on highly exorbitant rates as compared to the market value, without following proper rules and procedures. Documents available with The Express Tribune reveal that owners of some of the properties had not even participated in the bidding process in response to the advertisement, but their properties were purchased by EOBI.
According to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, all procuring agencies both within and outside Pakistan, are required to post tenders of over Rs50 million on PPRA’s website. However, the advertisements were in violation of rule 7 of Public Procurement Regulations 2008, because no tenders were posted on the PPRA or the EOBI’s website.
According to paragraph 6 (G) EOBI (Board of Trustees) Rules 1977, the Board of Trustees shall have the power to order investment and disinvestment in real estate, where the investment exceeds Rs0.5 million. In the 86th meeting of the Board of Trustees, it was decided that in light of previous practices, and decisions of the committee dated October 2, 2009, the institution should continue with the same practice to avoid purchasing land from private parties.
The report reveals that eleven independent inquiries were registered in FIA Punjab against all eleven property deals, due to the non-transparent nature of their transactions.
All of these properties were evaluated by a private firm named M/s Dimen Associates (Pvt) Ltd, Lahore, which is against EOBI rules, as paragraph 15.2.2 of the Operating Manual of EOBI states: “Before purchase, valuation of land/building shall be carried through government controlled consultancies, ie, PEPAC, NESPAK, REMCO, etc.”
A letter has been issued to the director general of FIA to take the secretary concerned on-board for evaluation of all the properties by a reputable government owned firm.
Furthermore, in order to examine the records obtained, letters have been sent to director general Lahore Development Authority, District Coordination Officer Lahore, Executive Officer Cantonment Board Lahore and the provincial chief of the National Bank of Pakistan for technical assistance. The report states that after examining the records, the role of members of investment committee and members of the board of trustees would be examined in light of the records obtained.
Many discrepancies have been pointed out in the evaluation report submitted by Dimen Associates (Pvt) Ltd.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.
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@Syed A. Mateen: Please provide awareness to your community with honestly and prosperity because we are ignored elements of this society
@Death: Well done
The sellers have agreed to return the money , provided that EOBI returns the properties bought from them. So they are basically just reversing the transaction. I see nothing wrong in this. But they should have taken part in the bidding process .
This is why I say that Government should form Real Estate Authority in Pakistan.
Moreover, all the Real Estate Agency Owners and Real Estate Brokers should be issued licenses by the respective provincial Ministry of Interior.
No real estate transaction should take place without involving the licensed Real Estate Broker, who will issue a certificate to the Area Registrar that so and so deal has been conducted for such and such amount.
For any concealment of amount the Real Estate Broker as well as the buyers and sellers should be held responsible and legal action should be taken against all of them.
By issuing the licenses to Real Estate Brokers, it will also help the Government that no innocent landlord will be able to rent out his place to the culprits and terrorists, as the Real Estate Brokers will be responsible to verify the credential of the Tenants, before signing a Lease Agreements.
"the sellers of six properties have voluntarily agreed to return the money............"
That is not enough. They should be punished for what they did, plus fined for opportunity lost.