ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of foreign ministry officers fear that their life savings may be lost because of an error on the part of the National Logistics Cell (NLC), The Express Tribune has learnt reliably.
On the surface, the improperly planned luxury housing scheme was launched by the NLC for foreign ministry officials, who have since 2006 paid more than Rs240 million in installments but they have not yet been handed over their plots.
A tug-of-war started between the NLC and foreign ministry officers in October 2010 when the latter learnt that the scheme was undertaken without CDA approval, a prerequisite for all such schemes.
For the past five years, the fate of the dubious ‘Foreign Office Farm Housing Scheme’, located near Nilore, is uncertain. Over the same period, they have been trying to convince the NLC to return their money along with bank mark-up. Now, foreign ministry officials say, the NLC is demanding a large sum of money to “redesign the scheme” to bring it in conformity with CDA by-laws
“This is just a ploy to delay the return of our money for another two or three years,” said one of the affected allottees.
The NLC, it is learnt, is offering to return the money, but without the accrued mark-up. It says that it cannot pay the additional money because of severe financial constraints.
Some of the officers have even asked their seniors to take legal action against NLC to get their money back along with interest earned over it. However, most officers favor the return of the actual amount as early as possible, fearing losing it entirely.
The NLC deal with the officers remained unfulfilled for five years as it kept the allotted officers waiting on different excuses. The demand for the payment of additional money was made by the NLC – ostensibly for development – when foreign ministry officers asked it to redesign the scheme in accordance with CDA bylaws.
The Foreign Office Housing Scheme was launched as a welfare project for foreign ministry officers in 2006. The officers paid at the rate of Rs350,000 per kanal for the plots.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2011.
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