The Gulberg Town Council has been authorised through Section 54-A of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001 to approve designs for residential and commercial property in Model Town, city government officials told Daily Times on Wednesday.
Earlier the Model Town Society (MTS) was empowered to approve building designs in Model Town and register property documents on behalf of the city government.
Under the Cooperative Model Town Society Act 1962, inner circle plots (numbers 1, 36, 37, 78, 79 and 80 in all blocks except J and K), outer circle-facing plots (numbers 18, 19, 63, 64, 91, 92, 113 to 122 in all blocks except J and K), main road-facing plots (number 128 in all blocks except J and K) and plots 121-128J, 159-174C, 159-191D, 159-180G, 159-180H, 1-40K and 90-96K can be commercialised.
Officials said MTS had demanded the city government refund the one percent corporation fee that it (MTS) deposited with the latter. They said that to register property documents MTS collected one percent in corporation fee, two percent in stamp duty, one percent in capital value tax and 2.5 percent fee against the property”s total value for MTS membership. They said that out of this amount, MTS got to keep only 2.5 percent against each property while the rest was deposited with the city government.
MTS president Tahir Hussain Kardar said the society was demanding the city government refund the one percent in corporation fee. He said that although MTS came under the jurisdiction of Gulberg Town and the city government, the society generated its own revenue and did not take money from any agency for development projects. The one percent in corporation fee amounts to about Rs 20 million a year.
Officials said Gulberg Town was given the authority after Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court heard a case that involved leasing 63 kanals of MTS land to an international chain of cash-and-carry stores. Justice Saeed told Kardar that only Gulberg Town could allow changing the use of land under Section 54-A of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance.
Kardar told Daily Times that MTS had followed the court”s decision. However, he said, Gulberg Town”s regulation and planning department had to follow MTS building bylaws. Kardar also said the major source of MTS revenue was property tax and membership fee. He said excise and taxation officials collected the property tax on MTS” behalf, but passed it to the society.
A senior city government official said that although Gulberg Town was empowered to approve designs for residential and commercial property in MTS, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) would be the final authority under Section 196 of the Local Government Ordinance in the case of conflict over building bylaws.
Source: Daily Times
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