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Thallian Housing Project Islamabad: PAC asks FGEHF to halt process of sale & purchase of land

Thallian Housing Project Islamabad: PAC asks FGEHF to halt process of sale & purchase of land


ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Thursday asked Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) to stop all land sale/purchase process for the Thallian Housing Project Islamabad till the panel clears it.

The meeting of subcommittee of the PAC held here under the chairmanship of Sardar Ashiq Hussain Gopang observed that the joint venture partner in the project is to earn Rs 24 billion from the entire process as the basic land price is Rs 70,000 per kanal, while the FGEHF has fixed land price at Rs 425,000 per kanal. The committee was stunned to learn that the land purchased at Rs 425,000 per kanal by the land developers will be sold to final clients at Rs 2.4 million.

The committee observed if standard land development charges of 60 per cent are applied to the land then cost should not exceed to over Rs 650,000 per kanal. The committee members said that the authority has gone into a deal with the front men of influential persons who wanted to make multibillion rupees from the project. The panel directed the DG FGEHF to provide all the details of the project by May 26, 2017, and after reviewing the JV agreement between the FGEHF and the other party, the panel will give go-ahead to the project.

Azam Swati asked the ministry officials to provide details of income tax returns of the company as well as its owner Gen Ishaq (retd) of last five years so that the committee can determine the financial position of the person as well as the company. He added that a company or a person going to spend Rs 10 billion for a certain project must have relevant experience along with strong financial position, which can be determined by observing the tax returns of at least last five years.

The committee was briefed by the Director General, Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) with regard to the acquisition of land process for Thallian Interchange Joint Venture Housing project, availability and access from Islamabad-Lahore Motorway along with its site plan, maps and other things. He informed the committee that 15 companies had participated in the prequalification process and out of 15 companies, seven companies were shortlisted. Later on, one company was qualified for the Thallian project.

He added that an agreement was signed with the commitment that qualified company will provide 7000-10,000 kanal land in the specific areas, accordingly they have been provided over 1,400 kanals of land till date, which is under survey process by the FGEHF. He further stated that they have been offered another 4,800 kanals of land so far.

The DG FGEHF apprised the committee that the government is not paying any funds in advance to party B (land provider); therefore, the government has zero risk for building the project.

However, the committee was of the view that the government was collecting public money for the development and other things. The DG FGEHF said that the Foundation will provide premium on the deposit of public money, instead of deduction at the time of refund, if required by someone. He said that negotiations for construction of interchange at Thallian were under process with the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and National Highways Authority (NHA). He also informed the committee that the government will subsidise the cost of development for the commercial areas of the said project.

The committee expressed apprehensions over awaited title of the project and procedure adopted by the government for land acquisition and selection of land provider. The committee showed its observation on the distribution of commercial area by the ratio of 10:90 for government and land provider respectively.

The committee directed the DG FGEHF to provide all documents as well as record of qualified company to the committee for its consideration before the May 26.

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