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Non-completion of housing schemes: OPF suffers Rs 718.78 million loss
10-11-2010, 12:04 PM
Post: #1
Non-completion of housing schemes: OPF suffers Rs 718.78 million loss
ABDUL RASHEED AZAD
Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF), an attached department of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, has suffered Rs 718.78 million loss due to non-completion of 21 housing schemes since year 1981. OPF started these schemes to cater to the housing needs of overseas Pakistanis and provide them residential facilities in 1981, 1995 onwards, but none of the schemes has yet been completed.

According to the documents available with Business Recorder, due to poor management of OPF, as many as 1,596 plots (24 percent) of total ie 6,678 were not sold. As a result, an amount of Rs 718.78 million got stuck up in these schemes, while some of the schemes were abandoned by the management.

The audit also pointed out other problems like undue favour to OPF employees, excess land acquisition at high rates, incurring expenditures on development of non-OPF land, overpayment to contractors and fraudulent refund on fake applications etc. The OPF also planned to allocate thousands of plots to overseas Pakistanis in these schemes but a large number of them are still unsold due to the mismanagement of OPF administration. These schemes are located at the prime locations of Islamabad, Lahore, Gujrat, Peshawar, Dadu, Larkana and Mirpur (AJK).

The document said OPF purchased over 3,267 kanals of land through three contractors at Rs 55,000 per kanal whereas it acquired 2,546 kanals through Land Acquisition Collector at Rs 51,750 per kanal, thus it suffered a net loss of Rs 10.619 million because of land acquisition through contractors. OPF purchased 800 kanals of land in excess of requirement through a contractor at Rs 55,000 per kanal while the land is lying unutilised for the last seven years, blocking an amount of Rs 44 million.

Shockingly, about 140 plots of 1,000 square yards, 600 square yards and 350 square yards were allocated to the officers and employees of OPF in the schemes at Rs 375,000, Rs 225,000 and Rs 131,000 per plot respectively, while the same plots were sold to overseas Pakistanis at Rs 930,000, Rs 560,000 and Rs 330,000 per plot respectively. This undue favour caused a loss of Rs 35.475 million to OPF.

Moreover, persons other than civil engineers were appointed as general managers and directors of the housing and works division, which is against the service rules of OPF and violation of Pakistan Engineering Council Act. This non-professional staff was unable to properly handle the housing schemes, which resulted in non-completion of development work.

Supervision of work was assigned to M/s NesPak in zone-v of the housing scheme, whereas in-house supervision was carried out in all other schemes, which caused an extra expenditure of Rs 18.214 million. Muhammad Arif, an overseas Pakistani deposited Rs 930,000 for allotment of plot in Zone-v housing scheme Islamabad but the amount was refunded on a fake application dated May 26, 2001 on the recommendations of the then General Manager. The OPF suffered losses of Rs 167.836 million as it abandoned housing schemes in Lahore Phase-II, Faisalabad, Rewat and D-13 and E-13.
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