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Corruption rules the roost in Housing Ministry
12-11-2010, 03:02 PM
Post: #1
Corruption rules the roost in Housing Ministry
* Hundreds of plots allotted to high-ranking officials, including judges, in violation of rules, regulations

* Ministry signs agreement with fake company for construction of employees’ colony on 3,000 kanals in Islamabad

By Razi Syed

KARACHI: The Ministry of Construction and Housing, in violation of rules and regulations, allotted hundreds of plots to high-ranking officials including judges, reports revealed on Friday.

Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will take the matter at the committee meeting on December 27. Talking to Daily Times, a ministry official said hundreds of beneficiaries had been from federal ministry departments and judges of apex courts.

He said the ministry allotted plots of one kanals to around 30 people each in Islamabad sector G-12 in 2002 without having any knowledge of their dates of birth and other information.

He said that Arshad Mirza, the former director general of the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation, under the ministry, in violation of rules and regulations, allotted hundreds of plots to high-ranking officials of the bureaucracy, courts and private housing scheme in different sectors in Islamabad. He said that former chief justice Riaz Ahmad Sheikh and retired judges of high courts, including Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokar and Justice Mumtaz Ali Mirza, were among the beneficiaries. They were allotted plots without having any information regarding their dates of birth. Besides, Khalida Begum of the Intelligence Bureau, Rashida Begum and Aziza Begum of the Pakistan Post, Resham Jan of the Survey of Pakistan, Shamim Akhtar of the Ministry of Finance, Fahmida Begum of the Pakistan Post, Zia Mann of the Pakistan Customs, Shah Malik of the Ministry of Housing, Sardari Begum of the Pakistan Post, Begum Mariam of the Ministry of Agriculture and Justice ® Sardar Raza, a close relative of Arshad Mirza, were also among the beneficiaries.

The ministry official claimed that the Housing Ministry signed an agreement with a fake construction company for construction of an employees colony on 3,000 kanals of land in Islamabad. He said the 3,000 kanals was situated in zone 4, which has been declared a sensitive area and no construction or any other activity can be carried out there without the permission of the defence and interior ministries.

“Without going into the rules and regulations, the said ministry signed an accord with the Green Tree Construction Company for construction of an employees colony under the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation,” he said, adding that the company was paid Rs 1.57 billion in advance from the employees’ provident account of the housing department. The accord was signed for a total amount of Rs 2.55 billion, to be spent on building the colony for low-income employees of the ministry. He said the agreement was signed on April 9, 2009 for construction of the colony at Bahar Koh in Moaza Phal Karah near Islamabad. The company was paid Rs 950,000 for a kanal, despite the fact that the original cost of each kanal was not less than Rs 150,000, he said, adding that this amount was paid for the possession of 1,650 kanals, while the housing ministry had yet to take possession of the land.

Senator Pervaiz Khan, who is also the chairman of the Senate Housing Committee, said the ministry signed an agreement with the fake construction company for construction of an employees’ colony.

Senator Khan said the issue would be submitted before members and the chairman of the committee. According to an official of the Housing Ministry, former housing secretary GM Sikander, former housing DG Sher Afzal Khan and former additional interior secretary Zafar Abbasi are involved in this scam. Abbasi was a member of the executive committee of the government employees’ housing foundation at the time of awarding the project to the Green Tree Company.

The owner of the Green Tree Construction Company, Dr Hafiz Abbasi, is said to be the brother of Zafar Abbasi. He said the payment was made through cheques.

He said such anomalies in the funds and political pressure was eating the public’s money.
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