Rs1 billion approved for cash-starved CDA


Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has approved the immediate release of Rs1 billion to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) providing interim relief to the money-starved civic body.

The official sources told ‘The News’ that CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz, through Federal Cabinet Secretary Nargis Faiz Sethi, got the amount approved for the civic body.

The government had recently committed an amount of Rs1 billion for the CDA in return for a plot in the Diplomatic Enclave. The plot was gifted to the Saudi Embassy as a goodwill gesture and no payment was received from the friendly country. However, it was decided at a high-level that the CDA would be paid Rs1 billion against the plot by the Pakistan government.

“The amount approved by the prime minister will be transferred into the CDA’s account in a few days enabling it to pay salaries, along with Eid allowance, prior to Eidul Azha,” an official source said.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Nargis Faiz Sethi, who at present also holds additional charge of the water and power secretary, helped the CDA out in restoration of electricity connections of its offices and sewage treatment plant, which were disconnected for non-payment of bills over a month back. During this period, a big amount was spent on diesel to operate generators.

The CDA sources said that the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) restored electricity connections of DA offices about three days back on the intervention of the ministry’s top official.

The civic body, however, paid around Rs15 million to the Iesco out of over Rs1.5 billion outstanding dues against the CDA as being claimed by the Iesco. “We are negotiating with the Iesco to reconcile the actual amount of dues,” an official of CDA said.

CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz confirmed to this scribe that the prime minister had approved Rs1 billion for the civic body. “We are thankful to the prime minister for the timely approval of the much required money,” he said.

He said the new management would work out plans for sustainable income generation to meet routine expenses and continue executing development projects.