|Clarification Regarding IPS’ Old F-7 Building Controversy|
During the meeting of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 25 May 2016, in which an inquiry against CDA’s conduct is being carried out a controversy has been raised with the presentation/statement of CDA’s member planning and the remarks of the PAC chairman and some of its members about the previous office building of Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), which was situated in F-7 markaz, Islamabad. A clarification on this issue is as under:
Institute of Policy Studies is an autonomous, not for profit civil society organization, dedicated to promoting policy oriented research and human development. It achieves its objectives through a wide range of activities which include research, seminars, conferences, roundtables and training workshops. Since its inception in 1979, IPS has focused on national and international issues and offered its platform to different eminent scholars, intellectuals and academicians for academic discourse on the matters of national interest.
IPS disseminates its research work through different ways and means to public in general and to policy makers in particular. IPS has published around 300 books, arranged more than 1200 seminars and human development workshops and prepared about 1500 reports on different policy issues. IPS flagship journal Policy Perspectives and Urdu journals Nuqta-e-Nazar and Maghrib Aur Islam are being published/issued biannually. The research program of the organization is guided by its National Academic Council comprising renowned scholars, intellectuals and experts in different spheres of life.
Institute of Policy Studies is a registered organization under Societies Act 1860. IPS ensures its financial transparency and arrange annual audit of its accounts. Pakistan Center for Philanthropy (PCP) has conducted its audit three times, 2008, 2011 and 2014 and verified that IPS meets the certification standards in the areas of internal governance, financial discipline and program delivery. IPS, for its various research and communication activities, mainly relies upon the income generated through indigenous resources, especially its Endowment.
After two years of its inception, IPS requested CDA for allotment of plot in Islamabad. CDA allotted a plot measuring 80x130 in F-7 Markaz, Islamabad to IPS vide their letter dated September 22, 1981. Upon payment of first installment of Rs.150,000/- of plot, CDA issued a formal allotment letter on May 3, 1982. CDA, clarified that the land was meant for three story building vide their letter May 12, 1982.
Being an independent research organization, it was a pre-requisite that it should be self-reliant so that to protect its integrity, independence and freedom of expression. IPS therefore decided not to get any financial support from the Government or any other donor and to generate its resources by developing endowments. IPS, therefore requested CDA to allow to have a shopping arcade on the ground floor. CDA allowed IPS to have a shopping arcade on the ground floor of the building on June 19, 1982. CDA issued possession certificate to IPS on 28-08-1982.
IPS cleared the remaining CDA payment in four installments as per schedule of payment given by CDA in their formal allotment letter dated May 3, 1982. Last installment paid on 15-4-1984. CDA issued certificate of re-possession to IPS on February 11, 1987.
With passage of time, scope of IPS activities, as mentioned earlier, got widened and financial burden guided IPS to increase their financial resources to meet the running expenses. IPS therefore, applied for change of land use of basement and first floor to commercial on April 28, 2006. IPS made payment of Rs.4179800/- on December 27, 2006 as demanded by CDA vide their letter dated 12-10-2006 on account of conversion fee for commercialization of basement and first floor.
CDA issued completion certificate on February 28, 2007 which included basement, ground floor, first floor, second floor and stairs/tower. It was mentioned in the Completion Certificate that the building is meant for the commercial use except 2nd floor.
However, it was increasingly being felt in view of the Institute’s increased activities which include a number of international conferences and seminars annually, which require a peaceful and secure environment, that its premises should be shifted to a better, larger and secure location. For that very reason the property needed to be sold. IPS, therefore, made a request for commercialization of the 2nd floor on February 17, 2007, which was regretted. IPS again made request for commercialization of 2nd floor on December 4, 2007. CDA, vide their letter dated 21-08-2008, conveyed the CDA board decision regarding commercialization of said plot subject to the following conditions:
1. That no alternate plot for institution will be allotted.
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