Housing Schemes Bill 2011 Approved by NA Standing Committee

Islamabad (Thursday, September 8, 2011) National Assembly Standing Committee on Housing and Works has approved “Abolition of Discretionary Quotas in Housing Schemes Bill 2011”

Housing Schemes Bill 2011 Approved by NA Standing Committee on 8-9-2011

NA refers two bills to bodies (Wednesday, January 26, 2011)

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly (NA) Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza on Tuesday referred ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2011’ and ‘The Abolition of Discretionary Quotas in Housing Schemes Bill, 2011’ to standing committees concerned for further deliberation. PPP’s Nawab Abdul Ghani Talpur moved ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2011’ in the House seeking that Balochi, Punjabi, Pushto, Shina/Balti, Sindhi, Seraiki be given the status of national languages in the constitution. MNA Zahid Hamid moved ‘The Abolition of Discretionary Quotas in Housing Schemes Bill, 2011’, stating that government had allotted plots out of ‘favoritism’ to different persons over the last seven years. He urged the government to adopt his hill so as a transparent plot distribution system was evolved. As Minister for Labour and Manpower Syed Khurshid Shah did not oppose the Bill, the speaker referred it to the standing committee concerned. According to statement of objects and reasons of the Bill, it aims to abolish discretionary quotas in housing schemes in the public sector so that allotments be made fair and transparent. Clause three of the Bill states: “Notwithstanding anything contained in any law … all discretionary quotas in any housing scheme in the public sector shall stand abolished with immediate effect… Provided that nothing contained herein shall apply to allotment of plots, in accordance with transparent rules, to widows or to persons in the service of Pakistan who become permanently disabled, or to legal heirs of such persons who died, in the discharge of their duties or performance of their functions.” Meanwhile, ‘The Right to Information Bill, 2011’ and ‘The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2010’ were deferred. ‘The Civil Aviation Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2011’, moved by opposition member Humayun Saifullah Khan, was rejected by Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar.

News Report Published on July 6, 2011

  • Housing minister says all former, incumbent officials will pay for their corruption, No housing quota for plot allotment in Ministry of Housing and Works, even for PM

Minister for Housing and Works Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat on Wednesday vowed to recover the money embezzled by “corrupt incumbent and former officials” of his ministry. He was speaking in a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Housing and Works that was held with Pervaiz Khan advocate in the chair to discuss “Abolition of Discretionary Quotas in Housing Schemes Bill 2011”.

Hayat said that millions of rupees had been embezzled in the Barakoh land scam and showed the committee receipts of land purchase. “Corrupt officials of the ministry, including incumbent and transferred, are involved in the scam. The case now is being heard by the Supreme Court. The next hearing of the case is July 11 and I am determined to pursue the case until justice is served and public money is recovered,” Hayat said.

He said it was the right of the people to get the embezzled money back with interest. “I will get the money back as I did in the case of rental power plants,” the minister said, adding that all those involved in the scam would have to bear the brunt of their corruption. “I have a zero tolerance policy against corruption and have sacked many high-ranking officers for being involved in financial irregularities,” Hayat added. To a question on corruption in the Estate Office, the minister said he had changed three estate officers within two months for not observing rules and regulations.

Speaking about the bill under consideration, the minister said the bill was no more needed as there was no discretionary quota available now in any housing scheme under the ministry.

“No housing quotas, including that of the prime minister, exist in the Ministry of Housing and Works to allot plots,” he said, adding that, however, the housing schemes in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) did not come under the jurisdiction of the ministry.

Raising the issue of quotas again, committee member Jamshaid Dasti asked the Housing and Works Secretary Kamran Lashari to explain his position on corruption charges against him.

The chairman of the committee intervened, saying that the committee could not discuss personal conduct of an individual in the meeting.

Lashari said the Ministry of Housing and Works had a specified quota of two percent for disabled, two percent for widows and one percent for media persons and rules in this regard were different from those of the CDA.

Meanwhile, the committee in its discussion on the bill pointed some out legal flaws and technical deficiencies in the language of the bill and asked the movers to review it in the light of the committee’s recommendations.