ISLAMABAD, Oct 27: National Assembly Standing Committee on Housing and Works on Wednesday underlined the need for construction of new government houses with a view to bridging the yawing gap between the available official residences and the growing number of employees.

According to the housing ministry, there are about 30,000 government houses, quarters and flats while the number of employees entitled to official accommodation runs into 100,000 in the federal capital alone. As a result of this big shortage, majority of the employees retire without fulfilling their dream of living in official accommodation.

Taking notice of this huge difference the committee suggested to the ministry to build more housing units aimed at narrowing the wide gap.

MNA Pervez Khan chaired the meeting which was attended by Mahmood Hayat Khan Toochi Khan, Nosheen Saeed, Ghulam Haider Samejo, Lt-Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch.

Officials of the housing ministry while briefing the committee stated that the ministry as well as estate office is doing their best to dislodge the illegal occupants from the government houses.

With regard to illegal occupation of government houses by police personnel, two committees, one a sub-committee of standing committee of senate and the other under the chairmanship of minister for interior, are working to get the houses vacated, the officials said.

The committee was informed that in 1994, the government had decided to ban construction of new government houses. However, the ministry of finance did not agree due to financial constraints.

The committee, therefore, recommended to the government to lift ban on construction of new houses for government employees in order to curtail their residential grievances.

The committee was also of the view that the existing rental ceiling for hiring is very nominal, which required to be increased in the light of present rental conditions.

The committee also recommended to the government to enhance house rental ceiling in respect of government employees in BPS-16 by 100 per cent and BPS-17 and above by 80 per cent.

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