ISLAMABAD: A presidential ordinance amending the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Ordinance will be placed before the National Assembly today (Monday).

The federal cabinet recently approved the amendments to the CDA ordinance barring the appointment of non-civil servants as the chairman, vice chairman and member finance of the civic agency.

According to the changes, CDA officers cannot hold the lucrative post of the chairman which will be reserved for civil servants only. After approval of the cabinet on January 10, President Mamnoon Hussain promulgated the ordinance on Jan 11.

Now Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry will place the ordinance before the National Assembly as required by Article 89 of the Constitution to make it a law within 120 days.

Amendments bar appointment of non-civil servants as chairman, vice chairman and member finance of civic agency

At the cabinet meeting, four amendments that were proposed by CADD had been approved without any changes.

CADD placed the summary before the cabinet after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) barred the government from appointing any civil servant as the CDA chairman.

The cabinet approved the amendments to section 6(2), which states: “The [Federal Government] shall appoint a Chairman, a Vice Chairman and a Financial Advisor from amongst the members.”

The amendment to the section says: “The Federal Government shall appoint Chairman, a Vice Chairman and Financial Advisor from amongst the civil servants of the federal government in BS-20 and above.”

The amendment to section 6(3) states that the chairman and members of the authority shall hold their offices for three years unless removed earlier for reasons to be recorded in writing.

The ordinance currently fixes the term for members at four years and for the chairman at five years.

An amendment to section 8(f) was also approved, which deals with the disqualification of members. Besides, an amendment was also made to section 6(6).

Sources said hours before the cabinet meeting Dr Chaudhry sought input from Shahid Sohail, one of the senior most members of the CDA, and Member Planning Asad Mehboob Kayani on the proposed amendments.

The sources said both the members said though they were going to retire this year and were not interested in becoming the chairman, the amendments would deprive other CDA officers in future of the opportunity to become the chairman.

“After getting input from the law ministry and others, CADD placed the bill before the cabinet for approval. Later, the president promulgated the ordinance,” said CADD spokesman Atiqur Rehman.

“Now the ordinance is going to become a law after being approved by parliament which is a legal requirement,” he said.

In reply to a question, he said: “I don’t think there is any controversy as before finalising the bill CADD also got opinion from the law ministry.”

Meanwhile, the CADD minster told Dawn that the ordinance would be placed before the National Assembly on Monday and the house would refer it to a standing committee where the members were free to hold discussion.

If there is any controversy and anomaly, it would be removed, he said.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2018