Govt to stop 5pc salary deduction from employees allotted official residences

Published February 16, 2019
CDA will not be allowed to acquire land from residents for developing sectors, PM’s adviser Ali Awan says.
CDA will not be allowed to acquire land from residents for developing sectors, PM’s adviser Ali Awan says.

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to stop deducting 5pc from the salaries of employees who have been allotted official accommodation in the capital city.

The decision will be implemented from the upcoming fiscal year.

“Our government made the decision because we do not think the deducted amounts were being properly utilised on the accommodations,” said Prime Minister’s Adviser on the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Affairs Ali Awan.

CDA will not be allowed to acquire land from residents for developing sectors, PM’s adviser says

Mr Awan, who is an MNA from Islamabad, said Finance Minister Asad Umar, who is also an MNA from capital city, took the decision to provide relief to government employees and that they will repair the houses they were allotted themselves instead of looking to CDA and the Estate Office.

Saying the deduction was haram, Asad Umar had, during the PML-N government, passed a resolution from the National Assembly for stopping the practice.

He had said the government deducts money every month for the repair of the houses but does not spend it on maintenance.

He said government officials were not even provided funds to change taps and other minor work and that the money was instead being utilised on other government buildings.

Mr Umar said there were around 19,000 government houses and 1,500 flats in Islamabad.

The Estate Office and CDA are supposed to carry out repair and maintenance of government houses. CDA looks after about 10,000 government houses in the capital.

A large number of applications submitted by government employees have been pending with the engineering wing of the civic agency.

Speaking to journalists in his office, Mr Awan said the government has also decided that in future, the Capital Development Authority will not be allowed to acquire land from residents of the city for developing sectors.

“CDA acquires land from locals for nominal rates and then sells residential and commercial plots for large amounts. This is unjust and we would not allow the civic agency to acquire land for developing sectors on government rates,” he said.

Mr Awan told journalists that the government will make all efforts to start development work in stalled sectors in the federal capital.

“We are currently focusing on E-12, where development work will be started in a few days. Then we will move towards I-12, I-15 and others,” he said.

He added that the project for bringing water from Tarbela Dam to the twin cities will be executed by all means and that Rs500 million will be released for the project in the ongoing fiscal year.

According to initial CDA estimates, Rs77 billion are required for the Ghazi Barotha water project, which is expected to bring 100 million gallons daily of water for Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Mr Awan said that due to the shortage of parking space in the federal capital, CDA will encourage vertical development, which the premier has also directed the CDA to promote in order to preserve greenery.

He told media persons that two graveyards will be established in Shah Allah Ditta and Bhara Kahu.

He said most issues of the capital city are linked with its master plan, which is currently being revised for the first time. He said most issues including the regularisation of unauthorised construction will be resolved.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2019

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