GILGIT: An unattended property of the Gilgit–Baltistan (G-B) government in Rawalpindi has attracted the attention of the new chief minister.
The land owned by G-B government is located at College Road in Rawalpindi, with a total area of 35,000 square feet.
The resource-starved region of G-B annually spends millions on office rent, and on the perks and privileges of chief minister and governor. Any opportunity for revenue generation would be expected to be tapped and exploited. However, it seems, not in the case of the Pindi property.
“This is the first instance a chief minister has enquired about this property,” an official in the Chief Minister’s office in Islamabad told The Express Tribune on Monday over the telephone. CM Hafiz Hafeezur Rahman is the first chief minister in the last seven decades to visit the place, added the official.
With one room and some quarters for janitorial staff, the property is currently used by the G-B health department’s camp office in Rawalpindi. “When we briefed him about the place, he preferred to visit the property himself,” the official said.
This land was used by various former governments of northern areas and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) to store medicines for delivery. This exercise continued until 1991 when AJK acquired separate land for its operations.
“That exercise stopped thereafter, and currently this property worth millions of rupees is lying mostly unutilised.”
The chief minister asked his staff to verify the documents of the land. He advised the staff to use the land and brainstorm on how they could generate revenue through it instead of having it as a liability.
“The chief minister wants its proper use since the property is worth millions of rupees,” a spokesperson of the chief minister said on Monday. “If it had been in proper care, the G-B governments could have saved millions of rupees, which could have been diverted to schemes for the public.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2015.