ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works Chairman Senator Mir Kabir Ahmad Muhammad Shahi on Monday said that necessary steps would be taken to ensure progress and prosperity of the country.

Chairing a meeting of the committee, Mir Kabir vowed to take concrete measures to improve the performance of Ministry of Housing and Works and added that by adopting good planning, maximum issues of the institution would be resolved.

He also directed to provide working papers to all committee members in 48 hours before the meeting as per rules.  Joint Secretary, Housing and Works briefed the committee about the functions, budget, performance and working process of the ministry and its attached departments.

He said that the budget to the ministry is awarded in four different heads. Around Rs 147 million were awarded to the Ministry of Housing and Works in Fiscal Year 2017-18 out of which Rs 126 million were spent for the relevant expenditures of the employees, he added. He further said that Rs 3555 million were awarded for Pakistan Works Department (PWD) while Rs 1754 million had been spent for the renovation of offices and houses. Rs 143 million were allocated for state office out of which Rs 124 million were spent for expenditures of employees, he said.

He said that for federal lodges Rs 92 million were allocated, out of which Rs 88 million had been spent for the expenditures of the employees.

The committee was informed that the number of approved posts in the ministry was 181 out of which 29 were vacant.  The chairman of the body directed the ministry to fill the vacant posts at the earliest.

The committee was also informed that Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation is working with the ministry and does not take any donation from the government.

The foundation has provided residences to government employees by establishing 25000 houses from 1984 to 2014.

Around 36000 people had taken membership of the foundation from 2009 to 2014 while this number has been increased to 90,000 from 2014 to 2016 due to the new policy which started in 2005 of the foundation under which it establishes houses after buying the plots.

The Secretary Housing and Works said the government had banned to establish further houses from 1995.

He said the houses had been allotted to 17000 employees so far while 21000 employees are in waiting list. The houses were being allotted on the basis of seniority list, he added.

The committee meeting was also attended by the Senators, Najama Hameed, Sardar Muhammad Yaqub Khan Nasir, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Bahramand Khan,Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Anwar Lal Deen, Khanzada Khan, Brigadier (retd) John Canth Williams, Sajjad Hussain Toori, Naseeb Ullah Bazai, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Secretary Housing and Works and other concerned officials.