LAHORE: An inquiry against the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) for occupying Punjab government land worth Rs 40 billion has been put on the back burner.

Reliable sources in the Punjab government told Daily Times on Wednesday no progress had been made on the issue, which was earlier referred to the Chief Minister’s Inspection Team (CMIT) for holding an inquiry.

The matter was raised by MPA Mian Naseer Ahmed during the proceedings of the Punjab Assembly’s (PA) 10th session on November 28, 2008. The MPA had asked the Revenue Department through a question about the exact area of land occupied by the DHA, and whether the Punjab government had been paid for it.

In its reply, the Revenue Department said the land in question measured 4,638 kanals, and the DHA had not made any payment to the government. The department informed the House that the land in question was situated in the Kamhan, Hare, Bangali and Barki areas. Minister for Colonies Haji Muhammad Ishaq said on the floor of the House the former Punjab government had allotted the land to the DHA, and stressed the need to recover its price. The department’s reply generated a lot of debate, and MPAs called for the formation of a committee to investigate the matter.

Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah during the proceedings suggested that the matter be referred to the CMIT for investigation. The matter was handed over to the CMIT as it was believed that formation of a committee would delay the process for about 6 months.

Speaker Rana Iqbal directed that the matter be handed over to a CMIT officer enjoying the confidence of the MPAs. However, the mover of the question and some opposition members objected to the decision. They said a committee should be formed and they were ready to wait for six months. The speaker also asked for a report on the issue to be presented to the next session of the assembly. The 11th session was held from February 12, but no report was presented in it.

Residents: The mover of the question, MPA Naseer, told Daily Times nothing had been done about the said matter so far. He said no committee was formed, and the CMIT did not do anything because the members asked to inquire the matter were also DHA residents.

Subjudice: The law minister told Daily Times the inquiry had been handed over to the CMIT. “The CMIT required some necessary and relevant documents, which I asked the concerned department to provide to the CMIT. However, it was learnt that some case regarding that land was in court and the matter is subjudice
Source: Daily Times