Islamabad - A cash-strapped Capital Development Authority (CDA) is once again preparing to auction more commercial plots in September, 2018 however the civic body lacks a complete data of its remaining ‘sellable plots’ worth billions of rupees.
It is necessary for long term planning that any organisation should know the details of its assets and liabilities, but the situation is entirely different in CDA. The reliable sources in the planning wing and estate management wing of CDA revealed that the civic body doesn’t have the exact number of commercial plots left behind to sell in residential sectors.
“There are several commercial plots available in old residential sectors i.e. F-6, F-7, but we don’t have any comprehensive data in this regard”, an officer of planning wing told, adding: “The authority can better plan and earn more money if it knows how much and where its properties exist in the city.”
He explained further that the price of plots in old sectors is much higher compared to the relatively new sectors or underdeveloped sectors. Selling commercial plots in new sectors is also causing a loss of billions of rupees as the investors are unwilling to pay high prices in unsettled sectors.
“We are selling the plots in new sectors ignoring the fact that we have valuable properties in old sectors or even in blue area strip”, another officer of finance wing informed, arguing: “If we dispose the plots available in old sectors first then we can get better price as compared to plots in new sectors”
When contacted, the Member Planning and Design Asad Mehboob Kiani said: “Though, we don’t have such a list in hands, it is not a problem because we know the number and location of vacant commercial plots”
“The estate management wing is mandated to maintain such record”, he added.
“A simple exercise can help to maintain complete data in this regard, which can save billions of rupees but ad hocism is order of the day in CDA”, an officer of estate wing told on condition of anonymity.
It is a routine that the civic body sells its fixed assets twice in a financial year to pay the recurring costs, which is otherwise not a wise solution in any economic term.
As per the budget documents, the civic body met its 60 per cent expenditure through the auction of plots or by recovering the balance amount of previously sold plots.
The authority has generated only 16 per cent budget through other sources i.e. taxes, water charges, whereas, the federal government had also given a loan of five billion rupees to the Authority which was 23 per cent of the budget.
The civic body is mandated to plan new sectors, dispose plots and maintain their record but the situation is a question mark on its performance when it cannot maintain the record of its own properties then how can it do the same with the record of private people.