Interior ministry seeks cabinet approval for extension of CDA chairman’s tenure


ISLAMABAD: The ministry of interior has sought the approval of the federal cabinet for the extension of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Chief Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed as the acting chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Pakistan Today learnt reliably.

Sources privy to the development confirmed that the interior ministry will present a summary in the upcoming cabinet meeting regarding the fourth extension of the acting CDA chairman – for another three months with effect from October 16, 2019.

According to official documents, Chief Commissioner ICT Amer Ali Ahmed (PAS/BS-20) assumed the additional charge of CDA chairman for the third time for the period of three months with effect from July 16, 2019 to October 16, 2019 by the federal cabinet vide case No 654/29/2019 while a notification in this regard was issued by the establishment division, vide No PF (776)/E-5(PAS), on July 27, 2019.

It is proposed that Chief Commissioner ICT Amer Ali Ahmed (PAS/BS-20), may be granted additional charge of the post of CDA chairman for a fourth time for further three months with effect from October 16, 2019 or till the selection of the new chairman as per sections 6(1) & (3) of the CDA Ordinance 1960 with immediate effect.”

It is pertinent to mention here that CDA functions as an autonomous statutory organization under the CDA Ordinance 1960. CDA’s general affairs and administration are run by the CDA board which is headed by a chairman and comprises five members (responsible for administration, engineering, estate, finance, and planning).

The appointment of the CDA board members falls within the purview of the federal cabinet.

According to documents, the interior ministry has started the recruitment process for the CDA board from within the private sector through a competitive process in compliance with Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) judgment of September 9, 2017, W.P.No 443/19/2019.

“The aforementioned circumstances in the absence of a regular incumbent call for continuity in additional charge of the post of CDA chairman to ensure the smooth functioning of the authority,” said the document.

Sources in CDA said that the prime minister has approved of the interior ministry’s move to table a summary before the cabinet. The interior ministry has in its turn authorised the submission of the summary before the cabinet for approval.

Sources further said that a full-time chairman of the CDA was needed as the government has been revising Islamabad’s master plan.

They added that there are several government initiatives under consideration, such as developing economic corridors on the Islamabad Highway greenbelt which require a functional board and a regular chairman.

“Instead of appointing a regular head of the CDA, the government is seeking extension of tenure of the acting chairman,” said sources.

It is pertinent to mention here that IHC, in December 2017, had ruled that the appointment of CDA chairman and board members should be in accordance with the CDA Ordinance 1960, which says appointments will be made following a competitive process and private sector professionals will be appointed to run the authority.

However, successive governments have failed to comply with the ordinance, and have repeatedly appointed bureaucrats to top posts in the authority.

Pakistan Today could not get in touch with the CDA spokesperson and therefore failed to get his opinion in the matter.