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CDA ordered to review rates within month

ISLAMABAD – The Capital Development Authority (CDA) Board is still waiting for authority’s finance wing submission over proposed enhancement in charges to raise additional storey/floor on existing commercial and residential buildings.

CDA Board has forwarded the summary in this regard to finance directorate in May 2011, though approximately six months have been lapsed but still it is lying pending with the said directorate.
However, a sub-committee of the Senate standing committee on cabinet secretariat on Wednesday while dubbing as “incompetent” the CDA Board for delay on its finance directorate’s part has directed the Authority to finalise the decision of revision of rates within a period of one month. The committee discussed in detail the drastic reduction in fee charged by the authority to allow additional constructions on existing buildings.

CDA officials informed a Senate committee that currently, the additional storey on existing commercial buildings (in marakz) is allowed subject to charges of Rs2700 per square yard in I-8 and F-Series sectors, that was Rs7000 per square yard in year 2002.

While rates for G and I series sectors is Rs1800 per square yard and it was Rs4000 per square yard seven years ago. Similarly, rates for additional storey in economy flat sites are Rs1350 and Rs900 per square yard in sectors F-11 and G-11 respectively. The CDA started giving permission to construct additional storey on existing commercial and residential buildings first time in the year 1991 but only in Markaz of Diplomatic Enclave.

Later, in year 1995, the same is extended to all commercial centres across in Federal Capital on demand of the representatives of Islamabad Chamber of Commmerce and trader associations In year 1997, CDA Board revoked its decision regarding permission to construct an additional storey on existing structures. But in 1999 keeping in view the swelling shortage of commercial areas, the same permission was granted once again, while a similar type of permission was granted for economy flat sites in Sector F-11/1 and G-11/3 in year 2004.

The rates were also drastically reduced by the Authority in year 2004 following the request of representatives of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and traders associations and on the recommendations of a committee formed in this regard.

The Committee observed that the CDA Board is incompetent which could not finalize the rates even after passage of 7 years. However, giving a strong argument that why CDA allows additional story in existing buildings, Additional Secretary Cabinet Division Shahid Ullah Baig had once observed that the practice opened door to corruption and causing change in original building plan.

Baig was of the view that such permissions turned into discretionary powers and then these powers are misused and that finally it resulted into pick and choose matter.

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