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New Chinese embassy: CDA team leaves for Beijing to approve plan

ISLAMABAD: A five-member delegation of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Thursday left for Beijing to approve the final building plan for the construction of the new Chinese embassy in Islamabad. The building will be constructed on a 37-acre plot gifted by the federal government.

The delegation, led by CDA Member Planning Tahir Shamshad, went on Chinese government’s special invitation, said an official of the CDA.

The Chinese experts will brief the delegation on the design of the building. They will also be trained on sustainable development and civic issues “which should be an opportunity to learn on better urban development strategies for the CDA experts”, a top official of the civic agency said.

The government gifted the 37-acres plot in the Diplomatic Enclave to China for the new Chinese Embassy Complex in 2008 in return for the Chinese government’s gift of a piece of land for Pakistani embassy in Beijing.

Later, the CDA requested the Cabinet Division (CD) arrange for Rs2.686 billion as cost of the land.

In its letter to the CD, the authority said, “In the past, if any land was allotted free of cost to any agency or individual on the directions of the government, the cost of land was paid to CDA by federal government through finance division.” A summary of the same request was also submitted to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who approved it.

However, the finance division has given CDA only a small portion of the payment to date, according to CDA sources. An official in the finance wing of CDA told The Express Tribune that certain divisions of the federal government, in violation of the PM’s directions, had imposed restrictions on CDA for proposing supplementary grant demands during fiscal year 2010-11.

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