CDA to launch schemes in private partnership

ISLAMABAD, May 23: The government on Wednesday approved a proposal to introduce Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) with a view to reviving stalled projects which the cash-strapped Capital Development Authority (CDA) could not execute on its own.

“It is a landmark decision and will bring a revolution of development and prosperity in the federal capital,” said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani after inaugurating three uplift projects and performing groundbreaking of three new schemes at Pak-China Friendship Centre.The federal cabinet, he said, approved the proposal of PPP for legislation and it was solely meant for Islamabad and not for any other part of the country, he added.

Talking to Dawn, CDA Chairman Farkhand Iqbal said that following the approval of the proposal, it would soon be sent to President Asif Ali Zardrai so that an ordinance might be issued before it was made law through an act of the Parliament.

He said that the proposal would be incorporated in the CDA Ordinance-1960 and would help open a number of stalled sectors where the authority was unable to pay ample compensation of land.

The CDA chief said the civic body would make agreements with private parties to acquire land in the sectors and then develop it on their own. “The CDA will only provide its land while the entire expenditure will be borne by the private parties and the profit will be shared at a fixed ratio,” he said.

Asked how the CDA would ensure transparency in the Joint Ventures (JVs) with private parties, he said that the authority would never allow any irregularity to be committed in such ventures.

Former CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, who took the initiative to introduce PPP, said all progressive municipalities in the world made JVs because under the prevailing financial crunch no civic body could launch any mega development project on its own.

“One can see JVs in Ankara, Washington and almost all European countries,” he said.

He said in order to ensure transparency in JVs, all rules of relevant authorities should be followed and a committee should be constituted to monitor private parties during JVs.

The civic body decided to insert PPP provision in its ordinance after the Supreme Court in its verdict on Northern Strip, a residential and commercial centre established in sector E-11, case in April 2011 rejected JV between the CDA and a cooperative housing society on the ground that the authority had no such provision in its ordinance therefore it had to make some amendments in its ordinance to go for partnership with any private firm.