PM stresses to use govt land for public welfare


By Uzma Zafar
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday warned to initiate strict proceedings against those officers and responsible found creating hurdles in the proper identification of non-utilized government owned properties.
The prime minister chairing a meeting over proper utilization of the different properties owned by the different ministries and the federal departments said in the past, non-utilization of the government’s assets in an effective manner had manifested criminal negligence.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Privatization Mohammad Mian Soomro, Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, spokesperson for PM Nadeem Afzal Chan, federal secretaries and federal and provincial senior officials, PM office media wing said in a press release. The prime minister directed asset management committee, relevant federal ministries and provincial governments to resolve all matters pertaining to the identified properties within a week, so that decision over their proper utilization could be implemented.
Secretary privatization Rizwan Malik apprised the meeting about the progress made over proper utilization of properties owned by different ministries and federal government’s departments and their possible privatization.
He said under the decisions of the federal cabinet, during the months of February to March, every ministry was tasked to identify at least three such properties. In the first phase, different ministries had identified 32 such properties so far.
The secretary further informed that services of a financial adviser were hired during the month of October for making assessment value of these properties, and giving final shape to the future mechanism in this regard.
He said that marketing for these properties would be held in Dubai Expo to entice the overseas Pakistanis and other investors towards such precious assets.
The prime minister said that proper utilization of these properties and lands worth billions of rupees which had been kept unused for years and spending of income generated from their use upon the public welfare and provision of basic facilities like schools, colleges and hospitals, were the significant parts of the incumbent government’s policy.
He observed that different federal departments and institutions had been running into annual losses despite having such precious assets.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned the defence minister Pervez Khattak to hold consultation over the names for the appointment of chief election commissioner (CEC) and members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP. Sources said that the premier will discuss the appointments of CEC and ECP members during the meeting with Pervez Khattak.
On the other hand, the opposition parties have filed a petition in Supreme Court today regarding the nomination of the new chief election commissioner (CEC).
The petition signed by 11 members from the joint opposition has been submitted in the apex court and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the federal government have made party in the plea.  “Incumbent chief election commissioner (CEC) Justice (Retd) Sardar Raza will retire on December 06,” the petition read.