LAHORE: A retired headmaster, Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf, from Faisalabad has submitted his share long ago to get a plot in the housing scheme of the Punjab Government Servants Housing Foundation (PGSHF) but he is still waiting for his piece of land.

In a complaint, a copy available with Dawn, submitted to the chief secretary against the foundation, he states that he and other allottees had submitted their share but the society was not developed on time and the allottees were waiting to construct houses on plots for several years.

He said the behaviour of the managing director of the foundation was also not good towards the allottees who were being forced to sell the file or plot.

Another allottee, Ghulam Sabir Ansari, also submitted the complaint, saying he had retired from service 10 years ago and was not given possession of the plot. He said he was allotted Plot 63-B in Satiana Road scheme in Faisalabad but he could not construct a house on the plot as he did not have its possession and no one from the foundation was paying heed to his grievance. He said he had spent all his hard-earned money to get the map of the house passed but he was not allowed to construct the house.

Foundation hasn’t got required land; it developed schemes in 11 cities since 2004

Ashraf and Ansari are not alone in their predicament as the PGSHF, according to sources, has failed to provide residential plots and houses to over 35,000 government employees who have retired since 2006.

The foundation was established as a corporate body under the Punjab Government Servants Housing Foundation Act 2004 on March 10, 2004, to introduce schemes for providing houses or plots on the basis of no profit, no loss to government servants on their retirement or to their families in case of death during service. The foundation is managed by a board of directors (BoD), headed by the Punjab chief secretary, including seven ex-officio members.

All provincial government employees are eligible for its membership and membership opportunity was offered to every Punjab Government Servant in 2004-05. A government employee has to apply to get a membership and to be eligible to get a plot of land or house. The new memberships are closed.

According to the rules, the provision of land is to be ensured by the Punjab government for establishment of housing schemes.

The PGSHF had to provide houses or plots on a no-profit, no-loss basis to all members after retirement and allotment was to be done as per seniority based on date of retirement/death and priority of the station. The transfer of ownership rights was to be given upon taking possession and permission to sell house/plot three months after taking the possession.

The foundation has established housing schemes in 11 districts of the province, namely Lahore, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, Rawalpindi, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Sialkot and Khanewal.

A foundation employee, on condition of anonymity, told Dawn that the foundation was not giving plots or houses to around 35,000 employees who retired from service from 2006 till date. He said the foundation had to give a plot or house to the employees retiring in 2006 till 2016 but it could not do the needful till this day.

PGSHF Managing Director Naheed Gul Baloch has confirmed that more than 35,000 retired employees are waiting to get plots and houses.

She told Dawn that she had a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi on Aug 18 and gave him a detailed briefing on the matter. She revealed the foundation did not have the required land to give plots or construct houses for the employees and thousands of cases were pending.

Ms Baloch claimed that thousands of people had got possession of the plots in the PGSHF schemes and added that the foundation had reported the matter to the government. She said the foundation would get the required land soon and start giving plots to the employees again.

Earlier, CM Parvez Elahi also ordered the PGSHF to take expeditious measures to dispose of the pending allotment cases, saying the welfare of the public servants was among his priorities. He maintained that it was the right of a government servant to get a house at the time of his/her retirement.

The CM issued directions for provision of education and health facilities in the Government Servants Housing Schemes also. He sought provision of facilities to the government servants by completely developing the schemes and added that the burden of payment on the government servants should also be kept to the minimum.

The CM said after the allotment of pending plots, the proposal to grant new memberships would also be reviewed.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2022

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