The Federal Ombudsperson M Salman Faruqui directed the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) to refund the amount of Bhara Kahu Housing Scheme (BKHS) to 32,000 federal government employees and applicants within 30 days.
The decision would benefit 32,000 members who deposited the amounts without realising the actual mandate of the FGEHF.
The federal ombudsperson also recommended to withdraw all ‘consent letters’ issued to the members of the subject housing scheme and to form a comprehensive strategy for the acquisition of land.
It was noted that the issuance of ‘consent letters’ to the members of the housing scheme was done without acquiring the proposed land in the area. The members were asked to deposit amount against different categories of plots without an actual schedule of payments and development charges in an unjustified manner, which was tantamount to maladministration.
Federal Ombudsperson Senior Adviser (Law) and Registrar Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmed Khokhar held three hearings during which the officials of FGEHF apprised that the original acquisition of BKHS was 6,932 kanal land, but the FGEHF later decided to purchase another 14,611 kanal land in the same area.
They contended that as FGEHF works on ‘no profit no loss basis’ thus the only way to generate funds is to collect money from the members. Therefore, the foundation is compelled to ask members to make down payments for the plot to be allotted after purchase and acquisition of land.
However, Khokhar observed that the FGEHF issued consent letters to all the 32,000 members without giving them a specific schedule of payments and without telling them the actual costs of land and development charges, which resultantly would cause chaos between the agency and its members.
Therefore, Khokhar decided in principle that the agency may withdraw all consent letters issued to the members of the subject housing scheme and to refund their amount within the next 30 days.
“No provisional letters will be issued in future until the subject matter is placed before the board of agency for appropriate decision in the interest of members,” declared the federal ombudsperson.
It was also directed that a comprehensive strategy may be designed for the acquisition of land and all its development costs for the members that may be circulated to all members. A clear schedule of payments and development charges may also be specified for the members and date of possession for the plots may also be intimated to the members in future correspondence.
The agenda of subject matter may be circulated to all members of the board 15 days prior to the board meeting in case of land acquisition for the members, the verdict said.