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Senate employees housing society in throes of scandals
02-28-2013, 03:00 PM
Post: #1
Senate employees housing society in throes of scandals
ISLAMABAD, Feb 27: Nearly eight years after the Senate (Sectt) Employees Cooperative Housing Society began making agreements for land and payments with property dealer, Raja Ishtiaq Associates, issues of embezzlement and non-payment of dues continue to dog the society.

On Wednesday, a Special Committee of the Senate, formed in November, directed both parties to “resolve the issue” before it had to go to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Officials from NAB and the ICT Administration told the committee, headed by senator Fateh Mohammad Hassani, that in June 2005, the society’s management committee made an agreement with Raja Ishtiaq Associates.

Under the agreement the firm would provide 10,000 kanals of consolidated land in Zone V, for which the society would pay Rs540,000 per kanal, for a total of Rs5.4 billion.

Soon after the agreement, around 4,000 people applied for plots in the society, paying a total of Rs560 million to the management committee.

According to Dildar Fani, the president of the society, only 500 of these have paid at least three membership installments.

“Some of the members have defaulted on their payments,” he said, wondering why they were “coming to claim their plots after seven years.”

Since 2007, the society has gone through as many as five administrative committees, each blaming the others for embezzlement.

Raja Ishtiaq, the land supplier, told the committee that his firm “had supplied the requested amount of land”, although he admitted that another 43 kanals needed to be provided.

“This can be handled with negotiations, since we have deposited Rs 35 million as bank guaranty,” he said.

According to Ishtiaq, his firm has already handed over 956 kanals, along with another 112 purchased against 94 kanals outside of the society’s limits.

This purchase, however, is also not without controversy. The ICT Administration’s Circle Registrar, Malik Din, told the committee that the sale of those 94 kanals should be considered illegal, as neither Ishtiaq nor the society had the right to conduct that purchase without permission from the Deputy Commissioner.

Zahir Shah, the Director of NAB, said that his office had received a complaint about that purchase in 2011, when former senator Azam Khan Swati claimed that the firm had used the society’s money to purchase that land, which it later sold for Rs50.7 million – money that could not be deposited in the society’s accounts.

“We were also told that Raja Ishtiaq Associates had signed cheques worth Rs24.3 million, which were dishonored,” Zahir Shah said. A NAB inquiry, he said, “shows that members of the managing committee of the society and the firm were responsible for embezzlement.”

Both bodies have asked for two weeks to resolve the issue.
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