The Capital Development Authority (CDA) will execute over 100 development projects costing Rs19.3 billion during the financial year 2008-2009.“In the development budget, roads, special projects, environment, water supply, and sewerage sector have been allocated maximum funds,” CDA Chairman Kamran Lashari and Member Finance Kamran Qureshi said while announcing authority’s budget for fiscal year 2008-09 here Friday.

Other board members including Member Engineering Mian Moinuddin Kakakhel, Member Administration Tariq Khan, Member Estate Brigadier (r) Asad Munir, Member Environment Mazhar Hussain, Member Planning Raja Nowsherwan and other senior officials were also present.

Kamran Qureshi said the total outlay of the budget is Rs25.89 billion whereas the estimated revenue generation and receipts is Rs25.94 billion. “It is a surplus budget by Rs51.136 million and it is for the fourth consecutive year that we are not in the deficit,” the member finance said.

The budget 2008-09 is 4% more than the budget estimates of fiscal year 2007-2008. No new tax has been levied while the ratio of property tax and other charges including water charges also remain unchanged. The civic body has not reviewed property tax, water charges and other taxes in the federal capital for the last seven years, while the same are continuously on the rise in other parts of the country.

The budget document said the focus of the budget is on development with an allocation of Rs19.36 billion despite the fact that the federal government has reduced allocation under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) from Rs1050.2 million to Rs392.114 million.

The official said it is also an ideal budget having 25% non-development expenditures (Rs5.51 billion). The major chunk of non-development expenditures would go to pay and allowances (Rs2.67 billion), utility charges (Rs1.33 billion), repair work through contract (Rs474.2 million), fuel charges (Rs313.2 million), sanitation and DMA expenses (Rs1.94 billion), additional financial implications and increase in pay and allowances as announced by the federal government (Rs300 million) etc.

Increase in pay and pension as announced by the federal government has also been catered for in the budget.

The coming financial year also significant from the fact that during this year, the authority would be starting record road development projects. During this year, the CDA would execute 97 ongoing and new development projects from self-generated resources. For rehabilitation and expansion of Kashmir Highway, the civic body has reserved Rs800 million (being 50% share of CDA), construction of Zero Point Interchange (Rs600 million), development of second phase of Rawal Lake Promenade (Rs600 million), development of sector D-12 (Rs 500 million), construction of underpass and flyover at the intersection of Faisal Avenue and Jinnah Avenue (Rs400 million), improvement of environment by solid waste management (Rs600 million), CDA officers residential complex and officers club in sector F-5/2 (Rs300 million), construction of cultural complex (Rs300 million), rehabilitation of Islamabad Highway (Rs500 million), widening of Garden Avenue (Rs300 million), dualisation of Lehtrar Road from Taramari Chow to PINSTECH (Rs300 million), enhancement of e-services at CDA (Rs250 million), development of tourists village in Saidpur (Rs200 million), construction of community sports clubs in sector I-9/1 and G-8/2 (Rs400 million), development of Sector E-12 (Rs200 million), development and improvement of Marghazar Zoo (Rs200 million), construction of 132 KV Grid Station in Sector D-12 (Rs240 million), construction of 11th Avenue (Rs100 million), Art and Craft Village (Rs75 million), entertainment zone at Rawal Lake (Rs100 million), extension of Margalla Avenue (Rs70 million), upgradation of water supply system in Islamabad (Rs100 million), upgradation of CDA Model School to College (Rs40 million) and other projects.

The acquisition of land and payment of cost of Built up Property (BuP) would get major share of Rs2736 million from head of development charges.

To a question about low-cost housing schemes, the CDA chairman said the authority had already launched Sector I-15 for this purpose while as per directives of the prime minister an area of 234 acres had been reserved for housing scheme for government employees.

To a question about Media City, he said such ideas would be materialised in Zone-IV where media city, eco city etc would be developed. However, he said they were planning to raise high-rise towers as joint venture with private sector, which would also contain a portion for media tower.

About planning to meet water shortage, he said the CDA had already finalised PC-1 to bring water from Indus River to the federal capital saying the project would executed on getting final nod from the government and following decision on water share of Islamabad from the river. However, he said while supplying water to Islamabad, the quality remained on top priority.

The member finance while responding to a question about completion of development work in Sector D-12, said the allottees of this sector would be able to construct their houses after six months. “The development work has been delayed because of sudden rise in construction material like steel iron and cement but hopefully, we will soon reach a settlement with contractor in this regard,” he said.

As for self-financing is concerned, the Project Management Office (PMO) will generate Rs8.4 billion, the Estate Management-II will generate Rs8.5 billion while Rs4 billion would be raised from auction and allotment of residential plots and allied receipts.

The authority has also set a revenue target of Rs605 million from head of property tax, Rs220 as water charges, municipal receipts Rs170 million, interest on receipts Rs2.1 billion and other sources.

The federal government would also provide Rs1.17 billion for maintenance of government buildings and residential houses.

The budget document said various non-development expenditures would be frozen as per instructions of the federal government.

The federal government has committed to provide only Rs392 million for only nine development projects from its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). At the same time, the government has pledged no grant for development of parade ground and Kashmir Highway as its share for these two projects.

Source: The News