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PAC shows concerns over allotment of land to US Consulate.

ISLAMABAD, 22 May, 2009 (Balochistan Times) -- Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly has expressed deep concern over allotment of 121 acres precious land worth Rs 1.5 trillion by former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to American Consulate on lease for 99 years, and directed PAC Secretariat to bring the matter into knowledge of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. The Committee has also sought reply from Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a month about rules and regulations about allotment of land to diplomats. The PAC which met under the chairmanship of Ch.Nisar Ali Khan at the Parliament House here to review audit reports of Ministries of Science and Information Technology, Food and Agriculture and State and Frontier Regions for financial year 2005-06. Secretary Establishment Division, Zafar Mehmood apprised the PAC panel that the office of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee was stretching on 5.20 acres of land near Pearl Continental Hotel Karachi. The land remained with Ministry of Food and Agriculture from 1950 to 2000. However, the land in addition to 21 acres was allotted to the construction of US consulate on 99 years lease. Chairperson Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Nasreen Haq informed the committee that in 2005, they were informed by the then Chief Minister Sindh House that a meeting would be held to give the land to US consulate on lease, again. She said that KPT has also occupied 15.80 acres of the said land. When a meeting was under way in the CM house, it was informed by PM House that the land had been allotted to US consulate at a rate of Rs 15,000 per square feet, she said. The Chairperson said that in the same area, Pakistan Railways soled its land at a rate of Rs 2.2 lakh per square feet. However, they received only 1.5 billion of the said land. Ch Nisar said that former prime minister Shaukat Aziz brutally violated the rules. How can PAC bring change, he remarked. He said if there was government writ then how an armed general could dismiss an elected government. The Committee directed Food and Agriculture Ministry to construct office for central cotton committee and provide necessary funds in this regard. Secretary Food and Agriculture Hafeezur Rehman informed the PAC that a memorandum of understanding has been worked out for establishing Palm Oil Seed Mills adding that production of palm oil would start locally after construction of the mills. Replying to the queries of committee members, he said that palm seeds were being sown on 2000 acres of land. While reviewing audit report of Ministry of Science and Technology, the PAC directed secretary establishment division to serve notice on secretary ministry of science and technology for not recovering of Rs 44 million fine imposed on mobile phone operators and administrative fee of Rs. 110 million. The Committee directed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to submit detailed report to PAC in a month about complaints received against mobile phone companies and number of those addressed. The PAC also reviewed audit report of ministry of State and Frontier Regions and directed to conduct regular meetings of department audit committee. The meeting was attended by MNAs Haider Abbas Rizvi, Rana Mehmood ul Hasan, Sardar Bahadar Ahmad Khan, Yasmeen Rehman, Aftab Shaban Mirani, Saeed Ahmad Zafar, Riaz Fatyana, Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Zahid Hamid, officials of concerned ministries and Audit Department.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 22, 2009
Words:567
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