ISLAMABAD, Sept 8: As many as 27 defence officers’ housing schemes were launched in different cantonments of the country during the last 12 years, the National Assembly was told here on Monday.

Defence Minister Rao Sikandar Iqbal in a written statement said these housing schemes were prepared and operated under a policy approved by the federal government, and plots were allotted to the army officers out of their respective quota on the recommendation of the services headquarters.

Replying to a question of Farid Ahmad Paracha, the minister explained that the low-cost housing scheme on an area measuring 12 acres at Dhoke Syedan Rawalpindi Cantt, and on an area measuring 2.32 acres at Ghazi Road Lahore Cantt had been launched for the non-commissioned officers and Jawans.

About the housing scheme for the junior commissioned officers and other ranks, the minister said it was not a practical proposition since every year 25,000 to 30,000 junior commissioned officers and other ranks retired.

He said Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had launched two private housing schemes—PAF Tarnol Housing Scheme in 1989, with a total area of 3,828 kanals, and Fizaia Housing Scheme in 1991, with an area of 400 kanals, both in Rawalpindi.

Similarly Navy has launched three private housing schemes, two at Karachi and one at Islamabad.

Replying to another question, the minister conceded that the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Karachi, was not paying any property tax to the cantonment board, Clifton, on certain properties as the DHA had moved a case for the exemption of property tax on these plots. The decision however was awaited, he added.

The minister said that no allotment of land was being made to the army personnel on receiving gallantry awards. However cash awards, attached to the military awards, were given to them. Winner of Nishan-i-Haider is awarded Rs1 million, Hilal-i-Jura’t Rs500,000, Sitar-i-Jura’at Rs400,000, Tamgha-i-Jura’at 300,000, Sitar-i-Basalat 200,000 and Tamgha-i-Basalat Rs100,000.

But the Kargil heroes were allotted land as a special case as one-time measure in March 2000.

The details of the defence officers housing schemes launched in different cantonments since 1990 are: Defence Officers Housing Scheme, near National Stadium, Faisal Cantonment, Karachi, 19.890 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, (Phase-II) Hyderabad Cantonment, 45.540 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Asad Jan Road, Lahore Cantonment, 0.220 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Shabbir Road, Lahore Cantonment, 2.460 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, 316/A, Cavalry Ground, Lahore Cantonment, 4.703 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Sarwar Road, Lahore Cantonment, 0.920 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Sarwar Road, Lahore Cantonment, 2.369 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Munir Road & Arif Jan Road, Lahore Cantonment, 1.370 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Tufail Road, Lahore Cantonment, 2.080 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Lahore Cantonment, 2.151 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Old Cavalry Ground, Lahore Cantonment, 0.618 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Sialkot Cantonment, 29.310 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Dairy Farm, Sialkot Cantonment, 29.739 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Zafar Ali Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 0.583 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Zafar Ali Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 0.345 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Fazal-ul-Haq Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 0.185 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Fazal-ul-Haq Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 0.383 acres, Residential; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Fazal-ul-Haq Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 1.035 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Sabir Kamal Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 0.250 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Sabir Kamal Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 0.505 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Mahmood Ghaznavi Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 0.607 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Haider Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 1.000 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Haider Road, Sialkot Cantonment, 1.000 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Survey No.24, Shami Road, Peshawar Cantonment, 20.372 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Quetta Cantonment, 6.750 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Club Road, Quetta Cantonment, 0.909 acres; Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Quetta Cantonment, 42.140 acres and Defence Officers Housing Scheme, Quetta Cantonment, 1.026 acres.

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