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A third of state deeds 'missing'.

Byline: MOHAMMED AL A'ALI

NEARLY a third of the deeds for government properties have vanished, according to MPs probing the state's assets.

Out of a random sampling of 171 government properties and other assets, only 121 deeds were retrieved, but 50 were missing, MPs revealed yesterday.

They accused the government of "hiding" information from them throughout the probe, which began in November 2007.

But the government has nothing to hide, Justice and Islamic Affairs Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa told the eight MPs on the parliamentary investigation committee at a meeting yesterday.

"MPs can visit the Land Survey and Registration Bureau, but it should just be a visit, without any investigation or inspection involved," he said.

"The committee is welcome to check our procedures, which we believe are right."

"MPs have to prepare a list, as they will be briefed only on the deeds they have asked for."

Shaikh Khalid said the biggest plus to come out of the probe was the push for government deed records to be unified, rather than scattered amongst different ministries and government organisations.

Committee secretary Sayed Abdulla Al A'ali said that the fate of 50 missing deeds was still unsolved.

"During our random sampling, we asked for 171 deeds, but got only 121, and this shows that 50 deeds were lost," he said.

"The Justice and Islamic Affairs Ministry and the Finance Ministry are not co-operating with us in this regard and it seems that they have agreed to keep something hidden from us."

He said that MPs had also discovered that there were 188 government properties without any deeds, since none had been issued for them.

"The government has furnished 152 newly-made deeds since July, but 36 are still deedless," said Mr Al A'Ali.

The parliamentary probe committee has been meeting since November 2007, but has complained repeatedly that it was not being given all the information it needed from various ministries.

alaali@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Feb 16, 2009
Words:338
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