19 bureaucrats get three housing units each in Islamabad under govt schemes

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OIC Summit 2021: Three-day holiday in Islamabad with no suspension of mobile services
OIC Summit 2021: Three-day holiday in Islamabad with no suspension of mobile services
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As the Islamabad High Court ruled against allotment of more than one plot to top bureaucrats at public expense, documents reveal that 588 senior officers in grades BS-20 to BS-22 have acquired luxury double-storey houses at subsidised rates, reports dawn.

The IHC had on Monday temporarily suspended the allotments in Islamabad’s new sectors and referred the matter to the federal government to examine whether the allotment of plots to bureaucrats and judges was justified.

The federal government intended to examine the ‘entitlement’ of such allottees to ensure observance of Article 25 of the Constitution that provides equal opportunity to all.

What’s more, a large number of them have been fortunate enough to get hold of pricey plots — a few of them got two plots — in sectors F-14 and F-15 of Islamabad, according to the papers obtained by Dawn.

Documents reveal 588 senior officers acquired luxury double-storey houses at subsidised rates

According to official records, 185 of the 588 bureaucrats, who were allotted houses in the housing scheme of the Pakistan Housing Authority Foundation (PHAF), established on the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) land, have also recently been allotted plots in the capital’s new sectors of F-14 and F-15.

Under the PHAF scheme, top bureaucrats were allotted “grey structures” of double-storey houses of one kanal, 13 marlas and seven marlas in the revenue estate of Kurri, which is near the CDA’s elite housing project called Park Enclave and private housing scheme named Bahria Enclave.

A statement issued by the PHAF says: “The mission of this organisation is to help in developing modern community living with all the comforts and amenities of 21st century at affordable cost for the middle & low income groups.”

The PHAF traditionally built low-cost housing schemes for its members and this was the first time that it introduced a scheme for senior bureaucrats in a locality.

It may be recalled that in 2016 the then prime minister had cancelled the allotment of “choice” apartments to influential bureaucrats in the same locality and ordered an investigation into the “manipulated balloting” carried out by the PHAF.

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Following a balloting, the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) recently allotted plots to senior bureaucrats, judges of superior courts, lawyers and judicial officers of Islamabad’s subordinate judiciary.

However, the IHC suspended all the allotments except for the affected land owners.

The federal information minister at a recent post-cabinet meeting press conference had termed unfortunate the move to accommodate the ruling elite on the land of poor villagers. According to him, the government is working on the issue in the light of the IHC directive and has formed a committee as well.

Talking to Dawn, federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Farogh Naseem said the allotments would be examined in the light of the IHC judgement that declared the allotment of more than a plot to civil servants as illegal under Article 25 of the Constitution that ensures equal treatment to all.

Moreover, a judgement of the Supreme Court issued in 1996 in the Hameed Akhtar Khan Niazi case had ruled against discrimination among civil servants and ordered providing equal opportunity to similarly placed officers.

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