ISLAMABAD: Popularly known as a moneyed civic agency, Capital Development Authority (CDA) is reportedly so strapped for cash that it has asked its directorates, especially one dealing with estate, to auction government land in the town to meet expenditures.

Daily Times has it from reliable CDA officials that the authority is left with just eight billion rupees after using up most of its reserve funds and the money generated from sale of I-14 and I-15 plots within first three months of the current fiscal year.

The CDA had announced Rs 24 billion worth of budget for 2008-09. The officials fear the CDA’s poor financial health, if continued to deteriorate in the next few weeks, will bring to halt ongoing development schemes in the city and shelve projects in the pipeline.

They say things may go beyond the control of the CDA’s new boss, Tariq Mehmood, who recently replaced Kamran Lashari after five-year long stint in office, if cash doesn’t pour into the authority’s coffers at once.

To prevent likely financial disaster, the CDA’s bosses have now come up with a unique plan – sale of government land – whose early execution is expected to give the authority an immediate cushion of around Rs 15 billion.

Under the plan, Estate Management-I is to generate Rs 4.5 billion and Estate management-II Rs 8.5 billion through sale of commercial plots.

The Finance Wing has issued instructions in this respect to the Estate Management-I and II, Project Management Office (PMO) and Urban Planning Directorate.

The directorates have however conveyed to the Finance Wing their inability to arrange the sought-after funds on immediate basis, it’s also learnt.

The officials said the Estate Management Directorate had sent PMO a list of around 20 plots whose auction would generate ‘peanuts’ especially when property rates were on the decline in the city due to delicate security situation.

They say the CDA’s many commercial plots are disputed, so their sale is not possible.

The official said auction of the plots at ‘throwaway’ price would go against a decision of the CDA Board that in future, the authority would sell land at higher rate compared with the previous bidding.

They said fund shortage might delay takeoff of the projects announced for the current fiscal year which included rehabilitation of Garden Avenue, Dualisation of Lehtrar Road from Taramri Chowk to PINSTECH Chowk, re-carpeting of the city roads, rehabilitation and up-gradation of water supply system in the city, replacement of machinery/equipment for disaster management, construction of 11th Avenue, launch of Rapid Mass Transit System, construction of CDA Headquarters, establishment of diagnostic centre at CDA Hospital, installation of tube wells and construction of interchange at Stadium Chowk on IJ Principle Road.

Source:Daily Times