881 Hectares of Land Leased to DHA at Dead-Cheap Rates of 18 Paisa per Square Meter: PAC Apprised


Karachi Port Trust (KPT) has assigned government land to several housing societies in Karachi at very reasonable rates, with DHA being leased 881 hectares of land at 18 paise per square meter per year, as revealed by audit officials before Public Account Committee (PAC) on Wednesday. 

While briefing the PAC, the audit officials said that the KPT assigned land to the housing societies on a 99-year lease back in 1996 and 2005. A total of 130 hectares of land was allotted to the KPT Officers Housing Society at 10 paise per square meter. The annual lease of the land given to DHA was only Rs. 287.5 million, officials revealed. 

The officials stated that KPT suffered a huge loss of Rs. 104 billion in a time period of 16 years because of this policy. In spite of repetitive instructions, KPT never inquired into the matter, officials told the media. 

On the basis of arguments, PAC ordered NAB to investigate the matter and submit its report within a month. 

The committee was held under the chairmanship of Noor Alam Khan, during which it was apprised about the non-recovery of $55.2 million in rent from South Asia Pakistan Terminals Ltd. (SAPT) for the last couple of years. PAC also directed the authorities to fix the liabilities soon after conducting an inquiry in this regard. 

In addition, PAC also extensively discussed the current development projects in Gwadar. While replying to chairman PAC Noor Alam Khan’s question regarding the non-usage of Rs. 1.5 billion reserved for Gwadar East Bay Expressway, Secretary of Ministry of Maritime Affairs said that the Chinese company, working on the expressway project, has already used the funds reserved in this regard. 

Meanwhile, to reduce workload, PAC decided to form four sub-committees, which would be supervised by Wajiha Qamber, Burgees Tahir, Senator Salim Mandviwala, and Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed.