ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Tuesday raised at least Rs22 billion after it auctioned at least eight pieces of land owned by the civic agency in the federal capital.

One of the commercial plots situated in Blue Area was sold for a whopping Rs3 million per square yard – reportedly the highest-ever bid in the history of the CDA.

The civic body kicked off its three-day auction at Jinnah Convention Centre, and amid an overwhelming response from investors, it managed to auction eight plots in a day worth Rs22.1 billion.

A CDA official said the civic agency was expected to bag around Rs20 billion in revenue from the three-day auction but due to the “very positive” response in spite of bleak economic conditions, it fetched more than Rs22 billion on the first day.

The highlight of the auction was a 611.11 square yards (about 1 kanal) plot number 13 in Blue Area – the business hub of the federal capital.

Blue Area property sold for Rs3m per square yard in highest-ever bid

This piece of land was auctioned for Rs1.83 billion – Rs3m for a square yard. Another plot in Blue Area (F-7/G-7) portion, measuring 5,952 square yards, was auctioned against Rs 1.435m per square yard fetching a total amount of Rs8.54 billion.

In addition to the above-mentioned plots, six more pieces of land – two in Sector I-14, one each in I-8 and G-9, and two more in Blue Area – were auctioned by the CDA.

It may be noted that in August 2021, the CDA auctioned a plot measuring 7,000 square yards against Rs8.792 billion. Though the property had generated the highest-ever revenue against a single plot, plot number 13 mentioned above, however, received the unmatched bid – Rs3 million for a square yard.

The CDA, in a statement, said the sale was being monitored by an auction committee headed by CDA’s member finance.

It is relevant to note that the CDA has no permanent source of income to run its affairs; therefore, it always relies on its land bank.

According to the CDA official Dawn talked to, the authority could generate funds by developing more residential sectors and launching commercial ventures, but it seems uninterested in exploring new ways to generate funds.

The civic agency, being an autonomous body, has to pay salaries and pensions to its 15,000 employees. The civic body also executes development works from its own resources, which are mostly dependent on auctions of the plots owned by the civic agency.

Some CDA officials, however, defended these auctions, saying that being a development agency, it was the responsibility of the CDA to provide commercial plots to investors to boost growth.

However, some officials said that in addition to auctions, the civic body should launch its own projects, such as apartments and other commercial schemes, to earn revenue on a monthly basis.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2023

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