LAHORE: National Accountability Bureau’s Lahore Director General Shahzad Saleem says 700 housing schemes in the city have been found illegal and holds the regulatory authorities responsible for the scams involving these societies.

At an event to distribute possession letters worth Rs4.5bn among 200 affected people of Khayaban-i-Amin Housing Society at the NAB office here on Wednesday, he said the housing scams might not take place if the regulatory authorities such as the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) performed their duties honestly. “It is the duty of the regulator to ensure before the launch of any housing project that it has required land and has been approved as per law,” he said and warned that the bureau would take strict action against the regulator for failing to discharge its duty.

He said NAB was implementing its policy of ‘accountability for all’ without any discrimination and striving for resolving the fraud matters particularly in housing schemes on a priority. “The housing sectors are meant to serve the masses instead of earning huge profits. The NAB will not spare those involved in fraud in this sector,” he added.

City DG warns regulators of action

Mr Saleem further said the administration of Khayaban-i-Amin Housing Society had been directed to deliver the plots and houses to all the affected people till Dec 31 this year. The bureau would take action in case the administration failed to meet the deadline.

“The NAB Lahore has put in place special measures to bring improvement in housing sector including establishment of a Preventive Committee for housing societies. It comprises members of the LDA, developers, Registrar Cooperatives, TMA and NAB officers,” he said.

During the initial proceedings of this committee, he said the NAB Lahore had sought the record of all the illegal housing schemes from the LDA. As many as 700 illegal housing schemes had been found in the provincial capital, he said, adding that directions had been issued to solve the issues of 175. “Many housing societies don’t exist though people have collected money from the general public,” he said.

He said NAB had recovered Rs297 billion from accused persons since its inception 19 years ago in different cases and deposited this amount in the exchequer.

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2018