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ETPB seeks recovery of 300 kanals of land in Lahore

ETPB seeks recovery of 300 kanals of land in Lahore

ISLAMABAD: The chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) on Tuesday informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the Lahore Defence Housing Authority (DHA) had withheld 300 kanals of its land which was contrary to a written agreement between the two organisations.

During the scrutiny of ETPB’s accounts at a meeting, the PAC took serious notice of a Rs1.93 billion loss caused to the national exchequer by ETPB, Lahore DHA and private companies High Link and Elysium Holding, owned by brothers of former army chief retired Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, allegedly through fake and fraud financing.

The meeting, presided over by PAC Chairman Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, was informed by ETPB Chairman Siddiqul Farooq that even after the development of the land, the DHA authorities had neither followed the directives of the Supreme Court nor returned a single plot to the board.

PAC takes notice of Rs1.93bn loss to national exchequer

The ETPB chairman requested the apex court to help the board in recovering the land withheld by the DHA.

The PAC chairman directed the DHA director to appear in the next meeting of the committee and explain as to why the authority had failed to implement the court order.

The committee expressed displeasure over the failure of the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) deputy director and National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) director to brief the meeting on the issue.

The chairman also directed the departments concerned not to send any official below grade-20 to a PAC meeting in future. The committee asked the FIA director general to personally attend the next meeting.

Audit officials told the committee that the ETPB had made a financing of Rs1.93bn in High Link and Elysium Holding, but there was neither any record of it nor the profit of Rs613.94 million was shown.

The ETPB chairman said that the national kitty was facing billions of rupees of losses because the two companies didn’t return the profit earned on the properties of the board.

He said that former ETPB chairman Syed Asif Akhtar Hashmi had signed an agreement with the DHA for developing 1,946 kanals of land owned by the board. The DHA had so far developed 1,110 kanals of land and returned only 800 kanals while the rest, 300 kanals, had not been transferred, he added.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2017

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