PUNJAB: Azmat Saeed Sheikh likely to head commission for the regularising illegal residential. Another job awaits Justice (retd) Azmat Saeed Sheikh. He is likely to head a commission set up to regularize more than 6,000 illegal residential communities in Punjab.
At the direction of the federal government, Punjab announced the “Punjab Irregular Housing Plans Regulation Commission Regulation 2021” in April this year to smooth over housing projects and carried out the entire process without any consultation.
Relevant departments were also not trusted.
The law was drafted in consultation with a key constitutional official so that the law could be challenged in any court to prevent any legal crisis. Therefore, it was decided that a retired judge from the High Court or the Lahore High Court would preside over the commission.
Now, according to an insider, competitive forces are working to please the chosen one.
Azmat Syed Sheikh to head the commission
The federal government wanted Azmat Syed Sheikh to head the commission, while a constitutional official in Lahore recommended the name of retired Justice (retd) Ali Akbar Qureshi to the Lahore High Court. However, it turned out that Azam Saeed Sheikh would prevail. He suggested some changes in the code.
For example, he wants the word “corrupt” to be removed from the title so that there is no negative connotation in the law. Other changes are also proposed. Due to the above, a summary was sent to the provincial cabinet for approval before the regulation was re-issued.
When the ordinance was published in April, the whole process was done quietly because government officials had to do it without any consideration, while a constitutional official was instrumental in putting the final moments on the draft.
And the approval of the provincial cabinet was obtained. By rotating the draft. On this issue, some ministers decided to abstain from voting. Their silence was interpreted as consent. A minister told The News that he had not received a summary of the comments.
The code was issued in a clear effort to give a fair share to residential communities by charging 2% of the value of houses on improper use of land. “This is some kind of blank check with a ٪ 2 fine,” an official said.
Illegal housing associations
According to him, there are more than 6,000 illegal housing associations. Of these, 1,500 are from Lahore Development Authority, Rawalpindi Development Authority, Faisalabad Development Authority (FDA), Gujranwala Development Authority and Multan Development Authority(MDA). Coming under the jurisdiction of development authorities. The rest are under the jurisdiction of regional governments and municipal corporations.
If internal government correspondence is adopted as a guide, the process has been initiated by the Punjab Chief Minister, who is also the responsible minister for local government. The move was backed by the federal government, which was anxious to see that the draft was circulated and approved by the cabinet, as the renewal was to be “presented to the Prime Minister of Pakistan“.
And by regulation it was announced that Punjab Assembly was not in session. This is despite the fact that the issue of illegal housing society is old and any legislation on this issue can await a session of Parliament. It is learned that a prominent constitutional official has finalized the draft. Although this is the job of the executive branch.
The Punjab Indigenous Housing Plans Regulatory Commission will be chaired by a retired High Court or High Court judge, who will be appointed in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court as per the rules. The four members of the commission will be: urban planners, civil engineers, environmentalists and legal experts. The president will be nominated by the chief justice, while members of the provincial government will be nominated.
About corrupt housing communities
According to official documents, the federal and state governments appear to be on the same page. In a meeting of the National Coordinating Committee held on February 23 this year, the chairman of the New Pakistan Housing and Development Authority, Lt. Gen. (retd) Anwar Ali Haider, had raised concerns about corrupt housing communities, where the Chief Secretary Punjab proposed setting up a commission.
Key, and then the Department of Local Government, prepared a draft that was reviewed by the Ministry of Law.
It has acquired such an important nature that Prime Minister Bazdar is “pleased to request that the matter be brought before the Provincial Cabinet through a rotation for review / approval” as an update on the establishment of the Commission. … “. He will be brought before the Prime Minister of Pakistan. ”
While the summary was circulated to the Council of Ministers for approval, some ministers declined to comment. Among them were the Ministers of Finance, Revenue, Revenue, Environment, Transport and Communications and Affairs.
Finance Minister Malik Muhammad Anwar
The news reached some in April, but he could only meet Finance Minister Malik Muhammad Anwar. The answer was quite shocking. “I haven’t received any such summary,” he said, meaning it was kept in the dark. He said he may have been picked up by his staff and would return after checking in with them. He did not return.
An attempt was also made to reach Environment Minister Muhammad Rizwan in this news. Aleem Khan, a senior Punjab minister and a property mogul himself, also refused to vote on the summary, according to official records found in The News.
Whether it was intentional or against the move, its investigation remains to keep the record “flat”.
To this end, the government interpreted the silence with the consent of the ministers who did not respond within the required time.
The summary prepared for the Prime Minister of Punjab stated, “Since the mandatory period has passed and no observations / objections have been received from any Minister, it can be accepted that all the Ministers in the Summary have made recommendations. Has been accepted. ”