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KDA leased out plazas at throwaway prices, PA told

KDA leased out plazas at throwaway prices, PA told

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was informed on Monday that the Kohat Development Authority high-ups had given away its commercial plazas on 33 years lease at throwaway prices.

The documents submitted by the local government department to the assembly show that the KDA officials had awarded five commercial plazas at around Rs1 million each.

The department shared the details with the house in response to a question of JUI-F MPA Najam Shaheen.

The details show that each plaza is constructed on 6.2 malas of land in Sector 9, which is commercial market of the KDA.

Chair refers matter to relevant house panel for probe

The session was chaired by Deputy Speaker Prof Mehar Taj Roghani.

Two plazas have been leased out to Haji Mohammad Shaheen in Sector C-1/IX each for Rs1 million and another in the same sector to Ahmad Khan for Rs1.1 million.

Two other plazas have been given to Malik Mohammad Shoaib and Mohammad Amer on lease for around Rs1.1 million each.

Local government minister Inayatullah Khan admitted that the commercial plazas were leased out on rates lower than the market’s.

He however said the plazas were leased out in 2010 during the ANP-led government.

On the insistence of its mover, Najma Shaheen, the chair referred the question to the relevant standing committee of the house for probe into the matter.

“I wonder how the commercial plazas are given away at throwaway prices,” minister Inayatullah Khan told Dawn.

He said he heard about this issue for the first time.

“The issue has already been referred to the standing committee. A departmental inquiry will also be launched into it,” he said.

Treasury member Mohammad Ali came down hard on the government for withholding billions of rupees in the name of re-appropriation.

Speaking on a point of order, he said work on development projects in local bodies had come to a halt as their funds were in the re-appropriation process, which began four months ago.

“Our government and this assembly are helpless before the powerful bureaucracy,” he said lamenting the withholding of funds.

The Jamaat-i-Islami MPA said work on development projects had been stopped for four months and no one knew how much time the re-appropriation would take.

He requested the speaker to direct the government to release those funds immediately.

Leader of the opposition Maulana Lutfur Rehman criticised the government for failing to ensure the presence of ministers in the house.

He wondered who would reply to the questions lawmakers had asked months ago.

During the tirade of the opposition leader, only law minister Imtiaz Shahid was present in the house.

MPA Anisazeb Tahirkheli of the Qaumi Watan Party said if the government was not interested in the session, then it should be prorogued.

Pointing towards the empty chairs of the ministers, she asked why the session was convened if they (ministers) were to be absent.

“I think the government is just completing the mandatory working days,” she said.

MPA Noor Saleem presented a privilege motion on the floor of the house saying the higher education department had failed to select the site for the construction of a college approved in 2012.

He said some relevant officials had not obeyed the directives of the chief minister and relevant standing committee regarding the construction of college for which the donors had allotted land free of charge.

The house referred the privileged motion to the privilege committee for consideration and recommendation.

The chair later adjourned the session until Wednesday.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2017

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