Senate body irked at CDA over alleged corruption in Parliament Lodges’ works

  • Senator Azam Swati vows to end system of contractors
  • Senator Samina Syed claims even food items, fruits are substandard
  • CDA Parliamentary Lodges director denies corruption claims, says will initiate inquiry after receiving Senate body’s minutes

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on House and Library has expressed dissatisfaction over the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) performance pertaining to Parliament Lodges (PL) with several senators alleging that there were reports of corruption.

Senator Kalsoom Parveen chaired the Senate body’s meeting which said that CDA’s performance had been poor and officials concerned had allegedly indulged in corruption while awarding tenders.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Senator Azam Swati, who was present in the meeting, spoke to Pakistan Today and said, “If we can’t get rid of corruption when it comes to our own lodges, how will we rid the country of this menace?”

“But we will end corruption here and across the country,” the senator asserted.

“This system of contractors perpetuated by some CDA officials must be ended,” Senator Swati added.

He explained to Pakistan Today, “For example, if there are 12 shops, the contract is awarded to one person who then sub-lets them.”

The senator further alleged, “Tender forms are not even given to bidders and contractors that are not CDA’s favourites.”

“Babu Khanzada was not even given a tender form and I had to call CDA officials, and I warned them that I will bring corruption proceedings against them,” he revealed to Pakistan Today.

Senator Kalsoom Parveen, who chaired the meeting, told Pakistan Today, “The CDA is favouring specific contractors and not following the rules, according to Senator Swati.”

“It is my personal belief that sometimes in order to get good quality, contractors with a higher bid must be employed,” She added.

“The same company must not be given tenders over and over again,” she also said.

Senator Parveen asserted, “The procedure must be followed.”

Pakistan Today also spoke to Senator Samina Syed who had attended the meeting and she said, “It is likely that there will be two more meetings regarding the matter.”

“We will ensure that the process of awarding tenders is streamlined,” she added.

“If a contractor wins a tender, he or she sub-lets the work to others, which is against the rules,” the senator further added.

Pakistan Today sought CDA PL Director Faisal Khan’s comment on the issue, who said, “The civic body will initiate an inquiry into the matter after it receives the Senate body’s minutes.”

“Recommendations given by the senators will be followed in letter and spirit,” he also said.

Khan also claimed, “No official has indulged in corruption.”

“The Babu Khanzada case precedes my posting as I was posted only 20 days ago,” the director said.

The PL director questioned, “If a person does not have the capacity to complete a project or is CDA’s defaulter, how can we issue a tender form to his company?”

“An inquiry will be conducted into the Khanzada case to determine whether he is a defaulter or not,” the director asserted.

The rent for shops was fixed at Rs2,000 plus utility bills and the rent for two tuck shops was fixed at Rs500 plus utility charges in 1999.

The senators complained that although the price of commodities has increased since 1999, the rate of rent has not been revised since 15 years and fresh tenders have not been called in this regard.