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Karachi: ‘Regularisation of goths in District West illegal’: Revenue Minister
04-18-2009, 08:04 AM
Post: #1
Karachi: ‘Regularisation of goths in District West illegal’: Revenue Minister
KARACHI: Provincial Revenue Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo has described the regularisation of villages in Karachi District West as illegal and fake.

“If proof is provided strict action will be taken in the matter”, he announced while replying to a question of PPP’s Nadeem Bhutto during the question hour in Sindh Assembly here Friday. Bhutto wanted to know the numbers of villages in all the tapas and dehs of the defunct District West and Malir were regularised or leased under the Sindh Gothabad Scheme from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008 along with area of each goth.

The written reply provided by Dharejo and placed before the house, maintained that no village in any tapa and deh of the defunct District West and Malir was regularised or leased under the Sindh Gothabad Scheme during the period as asked for. The answer was, however, challenged by the questioner who termed it a lie and said a false reply has been given to hide a fraud worth billions of rupees. Bhutto said that he has proof with him that 11 goths were “regularised” in Deh Nagan and four in Deh Surjani where the builder mafia has constructed roads and installed streetlights. He offered that if a house committee is formed he will produce proofs of the fraud before it. The revenue minister however said that no goth has been regularised except four goths under the new regularisation policy under which 21 more goths would also be regularised in due course. He said that he had been receiving complaints against the former project director of Gothabad scheme and Malir Development Authority in relation to the issuance of “old sanads”. He informed the house that all the old sanads have been cancelled and a new survey will be conducted.

The minister accused “black sheep” for the so-called regularisation of goths on fake documents and declared that this has no “legal effect”.

“If proof is provided, stringent action will be taken over the matter,” he assured the House.

He reiterated that this regularisation has no legal validity and the previous project director did the verification for the purpose.

Jam Saifullah informed that he has also talked to the chief minister in this regard and said the basic root cause of this menace is the devolution of the revenue department under the garb of devolution process. He disclosed that plans are afoot to have separate courts to deal with such matters.

He said our only objective is to regularise only genuine goths and builder mafia’s attempts would be foiled.

After some discussion on the point whether the matter be referred to the house’s standing committee or special committee, Khuhro ruled that the questioner will provide proof in the matter to the revenue minister and if no action is taken at government level, then this matter could be referred to a standing or even some special committee for investigation.

He told Bhutto to give one week to the minister for taking a decision on the information provided by him.

The minister made it clear that since no regularisation of these goths has taken place, the lights installed and roads constructed would be considered as encroachment.

SA passes two bills: Sindh Assembly unanimously passed the Public Procurement Bill and the Colonisation of Government Lands (Amendment) Bill, 2009 on Friday.

Sindh Law Minister Muhammad Ayaz Soomro tabled the two bills in the house. The Sindh Procurement Bill is aimed at establishing the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority for regulating procurement of goods, services and works within the public sector. The Colonisation of Government Lands (Amendment) Bill 2009 would authorise the government to repossess land that it provided for a specific purpose, but was not being utilised for the same.

Starting discussion on general principles of the bill, the law minister said that the proposed amendment in the said bill was aimed at making a member of the house as the chairman of the Public Procurement Board, which was previously headed by the chief secretary.

Keeping in view the desire of the members of this house, it was unanimously decided among the parliamentary parties that Soomro would be the chairman of the authority. Moreover, a representative of the chamber of commerce and civil society will also be included in the board to ensure transparency in procurement.

PPP member Haji Munawwar Ali Abbasi suggested that two members of the house maybe included in the board. Opposition leader Jam Madad Ali, PPP member Taimur Talpur and others also suggested that the two members of this house nominated by the speaker may also be included in the board.

After a lengthy discussion, arguments and counter arguments, Speaker Nisar Ahmed said that the house had heard the amendment proposed by the law minister. He put it to the house and the amendment was granted.

The second amendment was also put to the house. Soomro read out the bill clause by clause and the amendment was also granted unanimously.

Through another motion, Soomro requested for consideration of the Colonisation of Government Lands (Amendment) Bill, 2009. Speaking in a general discussion, he said it is imperative to amend the Colonisation of Government Lands Act to ensure the occupancy prices of the land granted or allotted by the government for a specific purpose are deposited within a reasonable time. In case of failure to deposit the occupancy price, the grant or allotment automatically becomes non-existent and the amendment is necessary to ensure that the land is used for the purpose for which it is granted and on violation, the provincial government may resume its utilisation for an appropriate purpose.

Appreciating the bill, Senior Minister Syed Sardar Ahmed said that the act was passed in 1912 in Punjab and later on was applicable in other provinces of British India. However it will not be applicable on the lands granted by the British government to individuals, KPT, Pakistan Railways and Cantonments.

He, however, said that it will be applicable on the lands granted after independence and on those which will be granted in future but agricultural lands were exempted from the law. Those who were granted lands for agriculture purposes will not fall under the amendment as they have the right to utilise the land as they wished. razzak abro/app
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