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Investigations were required to assess 279 out of the 667 cooperative housing societies – FIA

Islamabad: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) shared its forensic audit report of the country’s total housing schemes with the Supreme Court (SC). The agency informed that further investigations were required to assess 279 out of the 667 cooperative societies located around Pakistan.

Reportedly, 38 out of 66 of these cooperative housing societies are in Islamabad; 16 of 98 in the Punjab Zone-I; 9 out of 42 in the Punjab Zone-II; 164 out of 282 in Sindh Zone-I; 41 out of 117 in the Sindh Zone-II; 1 out of 36 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and 10 out of 26 in Baluchistan.

The report further presented a number of recommendations on the various amendments required in the rules and laws governing private housing societies in the country. The agency suggested establishing a committee containing registrars of provincial cooperative departments, and representatives from provincial law departments and the federal law ministry. This committee can then be tasked with reviewing cooperative housing laws in the country with a view to improve them in the future.

In addition, the report proposed that only companies registered under the Companies Act 2017 should be allowed to launch housing societies, while sole proprietor firms or partnership firms should be barred from doing so.

The report also recommended establishing a real estate regulatory authority for private and cooperative societies at either the provincial or federal level. As per the suggested recommendations, this authority should have investigative powers.

Moreover, the report supported the passage of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development Act 2017), as it covers most of the recommendations made in the report. Currently, this bill is under consideration by the Senate.

The FIA has also recommended that the Supreme Court should direct development authorities to prepare and strictly adhere to the master plans prepared for all major cities.

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