ISLAMABAD: Instead of following the guidelines for annual allotments, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has allotted stalls in the weekly sasta bazaars to influential figures, including a former PML-N minister, on a permanent basis.

According to records from the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) available with Dawn, the CDA board in 1985 approved the Administrative Board Orders and Instructions, a policy for allotments in five weekly markets in H-9, Bhara Kahu, G-10 and G-6.

The DMA has been placed under the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) since the local government elections.

Under the procedure a management committee headed by the municipal administration director ensures that the rules are properly implemented and that no middleman is allowed to function in any capacity in the entire business carried out in the markets.

Six stalls in two markets were allotted to a former minister, documents reveal

The rules state: “Allotment will be made on purely temporary basis by issuance of a licence for one year ending 31st December which will be renewed in the month of January.”

“Preference will be given to the vegetable growers/poultry farmers, government servants, handicapped persons, widows, students, other non professional persons and professional petty shopkeepers.”

One of the conditions to run a stall is that “a licensee cannot hold more than one stall at a time or operate in more than one bazar at a time”.

However, rather than allotting stalls to the deserving, the CDA has distributed them among influential figures.

Former Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) minister Tariq Fazal Chaudhry was among the beneficiaries, according to records regarding previous allotments, and was even allotted stalls while he was minister. The CDA operated under CADD at the time.

The documents revealed that some stalls were allotted to “parliamentarians and their relatives”. They said three stalls “were allotted to Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry in H-9 Weekly Bazar” and another three were allotted to him in G-6.

When contacted, Mr Chaudhry said he was never allotted a stall while minister. He added that the CDA had cancelled all the allotments of kiosks and stalls, and was asked to restore them by a National Assembly standing committee.

Mr Chaudhry admitted that he owned stalls in the past which were cancelled and restored later on, but added that he “never took possession of these stalls”.

The documents also stated that the CDA is collecting fees at the rates approved in 2000, resulting in a recurring loss for the authority. The total expenditure on salaries paid to employees deputed at the markets is greater than the revenue generated by them.

A senior CDA official said that a surprise inspection of the H-9 market had found that most of the stalls had been sublet and the original allottees were not present at the stalls.

“When asked about the payment of the CDA’s dues, they said they were playing Rs6,000 to Rs12,000 per month in rent to the allottee or possession holder of the stall,” the official said.

The inspection team also found that most stalls have been converted or amalgamated into larger stalls and superstores “without approval of the competent authority and without charging the special rates according to the size of restructured big stalls”.

In a few cases, more than one stall was allotted to the same person in the same market, even though according to CDA policy a licensee cannot hold more than one stall at a time.

Trades were also found to have been changed in numerous cases. Stallholders allowed to sell fruits and vegetables according to CDA records were selling crockery or other commodities and items without the authority’s approval.

CDA spokesperson Safdar Shah, when contacted, said the authority has not allotted stalls after the MCI was established, which he said now looks after the weekly markets.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2018

Opinion

Story of the last tamarind leaf
Updated 22 Jun 2021

Story of the last tamarind leaf

These journalists speak for all the troubled features of India’s democracy that Mr Modi didn’t tell the G7 about.
Understanding abuse
Updated 22 Jun 2021

Understanding abuse

Condemnations have been rare while there is no debate on the prevalence of such abuse beyond the Mufti Azizur Rehman case.
The roots of hate
Updated 21 Jun 2021

The roots of hate

The reference to being ‘out-populated’ is a popular theme in modern neo-Nazi and white supremacist thought.

Editorial

Describing OBL
22 Jun 2021

Describing OBL

FM Qureshi’s non-committal reply to question about Osama being a terrorist or a martyr has sent the wrong message to the world.
22 Jun 2021

A neglected sector

THE PTI legislators joined forces with opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly the other day to take their own...
22 Jun 2021

Air safari

THE resumption of PIA’s air safari flights to Skardu will hopefully attract international and domestic tourists,...
Poll consensus
Updated 21 Jun 2021

Poll consensus

If the govt is reluctant to take part in an APC on poll reforms, then it must ensure that parliament can be used for this purpose.
21 Jun 2021

Global displacement

THE number of globally displaced persons shared by the UN’s refugee agency in a report released on Friday is...
21 Jun 2021

KP budget

THE KP budget 2021-22 is a sort of please-all document that hands out something to almost everyone in the hope of...