MIRPUR (AJK)-The joint action committee of the local business fraternity consisting of five groups threatened to observe shutdown if Mirpur Development Authority fails to withdraw within 10 days the levies recently imposed on plots in the name of the development charges.

Hundreds of the traders including property dealers thronged there to express extreme indignation over the re-imposition of development charges on the already-allotted plots in the housing sectors of the MDA – which they described immoral, unwarranted, unlawful and injustice with the allottees.

Notables representing various other segments of the society including lawyers, journalists, social, political and human rights activists also attended the protest against the re-imposition of the development charges on plots.

Joint Action Committee Chairman Khalid Mahmood Joshi chaired the protest meeting which was addressed by various local leaders of the business community including the Presidents of their respective groups of the Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran including Mahmood Ahmed of Ittehad Group, Raja Khalid Mahmood, Sohail Shujah Mujahid, Asif Dar and Iftikhar Khokher.

The speakers demanded withdrawal of the additional development charges imposed on the plots.

The traders leaders said that during April 9 meeting of the joint action committee’s delegation with Minister M Saeed, gave timeframe of 10 days to the MDA authorities to withdraw the new additional levies. They said that the MDA had no right to impose the levies in the name of development charges by force – since the MDA had already received all kinds of levies including price of the plots and the development charges of the plots allotted since 1980.

The Joint Action Committee stalwarts said that the due rights of the citizens of Mirpur including the allottees of the plots in MDA’s sectors would be protected in all circumstances. Mahmood underlined that no such policy of securing the funds in the name of development charges on the already allotted plots was imposed in other development schemes in other districts of AJK as imposed upon the people of Mirpur.

“This is a new way to rob the citizens of Mirpur once again as exercised several time in the past,” he stated. He said that MDA-sponsored notorious Jinnah Model Town scandal was still banged in the earth and the sky and some of the accused involved in the scam have been brought to justice and several of the main accused and the facilitators were still roaming free.

Inviting the immediate attention of AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan, Sohail Shujah Mujahid demanded the PM should immediately order for withdrawal of the levies.