Islamabad: The federal government has suggested in the Supreme Court that a high level committee should be constituted to ensure transparency in the use of money collected by Bahria Town Karachi.
In front of a three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Faisal Arab, Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan took the stand that the 57 billion rupees deposited by Bahria Town so far belong to the people of Sindh.
It may be recalled that on March 21, 2019, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court accepted an offer of Rs 460 billion from Bahria Town Karachi for the application of the judgment of the Supreme Court on May 4, 2018.
The above proposal is related to the Bahria Town Superway project which covers 16,896 acres.
At the hearing on the use of the fund, the Attorney General said that it would be appropriate that the property developer's deposit and the future deposit should be spent on the welfare of the people of Sindh in a transparent and accurate manner.
However, Advocate General Sindh Salman Talibuddin opposed the idea, saying that the provincial government was obliged to tell the federal government which development plan to start and which to leave.
The purpose of accepting the proposal would not be to influence Sindh in terms of which projects should be spent. Advocate General Sindh expressed concern over how the federal government would be under the Sindh government's priority. May interfere with consideration projects.
He wondered what would happen to provincial sovereignty again, the provincial government was ready to listen to the Supreme Court but not to sit with the federal government.
He assured the court that the Sindh government was ready to identify projects and share them.
The Supreme Court, however, directed Advocate General Sindh to submit a written response to the federal government's proposal, on which Salman Talibuddin said he would submit the proposal to the Sindh cabinet for consideration.
The case was later adjourned until April 2.
It is to be noted that Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan had suggested that the Supreme Court, in consultation with the Chief Justice of Pakistan, appoint a former judge belonging to Sindh, the chairman of the committee.
The Attorney-General assured that no action would be taken by the federal and provincial governments with respect to spending the money submitted by Bahria Town on the projects.
During the hearing, Justice Ijaz-ul-Hassan said that the court had looked into the circumstances of the schemes initiated by the Sindh government.
He recalled how the federal government's Rs 6 billion given to the outgoing canal to the provincial government was disappeared and the officers who were suspended were later promoted.
The Attorney General suggested that the money submitted by Bahria Town Karachi should be spent on the urban and rural projects in Sindh at a ratio of 50, 50%.
He said that the money should be spent on infrastructure projects in Karachi when hospitals, housing schemes, schools and drainage system are provided to the poor in rural areas.
The Attorney General said that the money spent on the projects should also be audited by an independent and credible auditor nominated by the Auditor General of Pakistan and the proposed committee.
In addition to this, the Committee also periodically submitted the preliminary report for consideration of the Committee plans.