Many housing schemes nowadays are involved in fraudulent activities due to the illegal occupation of the land and not submitting the required taxes to the government for acquiring the land. Such schemes are not only a problem for the government, since the revenue via taxes is not collected as per demand, and also for the people acquiring that land because the legal documentation is not proper to ensure that the land has been transferred to their name. In these circumstances, it is the duty of the authorities to remain vigilant and to develop a mechanism which involves a regular audit of housing schemes all over Pakistan to ensure that the legal route is being followed to conduct transactions.

In such a situation, the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan demanding a complete record of the charges being collected for allotment and transfer of property and whether the allotment charges are being contributed to the state exchequer, is a fair demand. Bahria housing society is one of the largest housing schemes in Pakistan and in order to set the precedent that such housing schemes can be functional in complete accordance with the law will push many such housing schemes to also adopt the same legal route.

A scam of Rs 3 billion was unearthed in Punjab - witnessing the enormity of the situation in just one province and given the hefty sum of money, it was only fair that the government moved to create checks and balances in other parts of the country too, namely Sindh here. The official stance of the Bahria Town administration is that they have been paying all the taxes as per the demands of the government. An inquiry into the matter will only strengthen the government’s ground for implementing legal principles and the Bahria Town administration can play a very vital role in the process by cooperating.

The problem is not just limited to tax funds but also the water systems in such societies, especially in Sindh where a significant amount is paid to avail these resources. An audit of these records will help devise a framework which can then be released for the public to follow suit. Similar inquiries can be launched against other housing schemes in the province too to increase its grip and to create a pool of accountability.