LDA officials transferred

LAHORE, Oct 2: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) on Tuesday issued transfer and posting orders of various officials.

According to the orders issued by Additional Director General (Headquarters) Mariam Kayani, Assistant Director (Law) Muhammad Imran, presently working in the Directorate of Land Development-I, has been transferred and posted as deputy director (law) in his own pay scale.

Assistant Director (Law) Muhammad Ajmal Khan has been transferred and posted in the same capacity in the Directorate of Land Development-I vice Muhammad Imran. The ADG has also granted extension in contract appointment of Assistant Director (Computer) Imran Sarwar for further three years from Sept 19, 2012, on the same terms and conditions as mentioned in his appointment letter.

She has also entrusted the administrative control of all deputy directors and assistant directors (law) to the director (law).

The transfers/postings of all DDs and ADs will henceforth be made upon the recommendation of the director (law). In addition, he will countersign annual confidential reports of all DDs/ADs. Continue reading

7,750 factories in city illegal

LAHORE, Oct 2: The City District Government of Lahore has identified 7,750 industrial units/workplaces in residential localities in a survey completed on Tuesday.

The survey was launched by the CDGL after the tragic incident of a pharmaceutical factory building collapse near Kharak on Multan Road earlier this year.

The survey report compiled by a CDGL committee said the nine towns actively participated in the campaign and officials identified industrial units/factories being unlawfully run in the city areas.

Samanabad Town identified 1,339 factories within its territorial jurisdiction, Ravi Town (1,284), Data Ganj Bakhsh Town (1,534), Iqbal Town (531), Gulberg Town (601), Nishtar Town (407), Shalimar Town (717), Wagah Town (1,033) and Aziz Bhatti Town identified 304 units.

“As we have received a detailed town-wise survey report. We will soon hold a meeting to discuss various issues related to shifting of these outside the city or ensuring provision of certain facilities like safety and minimum wages to the workers there,” DCO Noorul Amin Mengal told Dawn.

He said the CDGL had already ordered its labour, industries and other departments to regularly inspect the workplaces and take action against those violating the rules.

Source: http://dawn.com/2012/10/03/7750-factories-in-city-illegal/

RCB’s tax recovery improving

RAWALPINDI, Oct 2: Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) has managed to collect Rs120 million against taxes on residential and commercial properties, during the first quarter of the fiscal 2012-13.

A senior official of the RCB told Dawn that the civic body had set the target of Rs400 million from property taxes for the fiscal year 2012-13. He said that the civic body provided 15 per cent concession for those who submitted their tax returns till September 30.

He said that mostly domestic unit owners managed to get the maximum benefit from this move by the civic body.

He said that the property tax recovery was gradually improving in cantonment areas as the RCB managed to collect Rs120 million during the first quarter of the fiscal 2012-13 as compared with last year when the civic body collected Rs90 million during the same period.

However, the officials in tax branch of the civic body said that the RCB planned to increase the property tax from next quarter of the fiscal year because it distributed provisional property tax bills at the old rates for 2012-13 to commercial and residential owners.

They said that the increased property tax for 2012-13 will be implemented after getting a nod from the RCB’s parent department Military Land and Cantonments and the residents of cantonment will have to pay the dues from July 2012 in next tax bills if they have already submitted their taxes for the fiscal 2012-13.

They said that the property tax was the main source of income for the civic body but it failed to achieve the targets in the past years because of its inability to inform the residents about the concessions it announced from time to time due to the old data and shortage of staff.

There are a total of 65,000 residential and 20,000 commercial units in the cantonment list of property taxpayers but the number has not increased for the last five years.

When contacted, RCB Cantonment Executive Officer Rana Manzoor Ahmed Khan said that the property tax bills had been sent to the people through courier services so that they could manage to deposit it on time and avail the concession 15 per cent.

He said the civic body would also provide 10 per cent concession to those who would deposit their taxes till June 30, 2013.

“The people who already submitted their taxes on old rates will pay the tax dues from July 2012 to June 2013 according to new rates if the new rates approved from the Military Lands and Cantonments,” he said. Continue reading

CDA gets third boss in 24 hours

ISLAMABAD, Oct 2: The city’s top job changed hands three times in 24 hours leaving everyone confused as to what the government was up to.

Syed Tahir Shahbaz is the new chairman of the mighty, though hollow, Capital Development Authority (CDA).

On Monday the prime minister ordered senior officer Javed Iqbal Awan to replace the incumbent Farkhand Iqbal. But on second thought he chose Mr Shahbaz to do that, reassigning Mr Awan to head the National Highway Authority.

As for the angry Mr Farkhand Iqbal, he went to the Islamabad High Court to protest that his removal from the high CDA seat was
‘politically motivated.’

His charge is for the court to adjudicate but it would resound in the country’s politically charged atmosphere. Many were heard speculating that “incompetence or infighting” was behind the episode.

However, the Establishment Division, that processes postings and transfer of government officers, was unruffled by such comments.

“It’s a routine decision,” a senior officer of the division told Dawn. “Please don’t hang controversies to this administrative decision of the federal government.”

Another officer claimed Mr Farkhand Iqbal’s legal petition against his removal made the government change its choice from Mr Awan to Mr Shahbaz.

Yet another officer found it significant that before joining his last positing as additional secretary at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, Mr Shahbaz had worked as additional secretary under cabinet division secretary Nargis Sethi this year and
belonged to the fraternity of District Management Group (DMG).

Previously, Mr Shahbaz has served as deputy commissioner of Okara in Punjab and of Shikarpur in Sindh.

Spokesman for the prime minister, Shafqat Jalil, however, blocked the search for any such connections. “I have no comments to offer on this matter,” he said.

Others in the bureaucracy were willing “to think loudly” at least.

“It seems something really went wrong at the Prime Minister’s office. Making quick changes in filling a coveted post like CDA chairman shows weak governance and incompetence on part of the office,” observed one ranking officer, “not clear” about what went wrong.

But he held the top CDA post “of prime political importance”, especially to the PPP. Its vote bank is in the slums and irregular housing settlements, which demands they remain undisturbed by anti-encroachment and other such campaigns by the CDA.

Political interests of any ruling party would weigh on the Capital Development Authority, more so when elections are around,” he said.

So could it be political whims that took the top CDA post away from Mr Awan? It would be hard to know but one official said the poor man was on his way from Lahore to take up his new assignment at CDA but the scenario changed by the time he reached Islamabad.
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