ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has come under scrutiny for appointing 2 private members to its board without obtaining the required approval from the federal government, which is responsible for such appointments according to the CDA’s ordinance.
The CDA board, known for its supreme decision-making authority, serves not only as a development authority but also as a regulator in various sectors.
According to the CDA Ordinance, board members are appointed by the federal government under section 6, but there is no provision for co-opted members from the business community.
Concerns have been raised regarding a potential conflict of interest, as clause “e” in section 8 of the CDA Ordinance disqualifies individuals who have financial or conflicting interests with the civic authority from becoming board members.
Currently, the permanent members of the CDA board consist of its serving members, the Chairman, the Chief Commissioner of Islamabad, the Commissioner of Rawalpindi, and three prominent experts.
Last month, during a visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chief Commissioner Islamabad and Chairman CDA, Noor ul Amin Mengal, announced the intention to co-opt the president of the Chamber as a board member.
However, the authority bypassed the necessary legal process and proceeded to co-opt not only the President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry but also the President of the Islamabad Industrial Association as board members without obtaining approval.
Senior officials within the authority expressed their disapproval of this decision, stating that the presence of such representatives could jeopardize official secrecy and future planning of the civic authority.
They highlighted the unprecedented nature of this appointment and noted that no similar practice had been observed in the history of the CDA or other development authorities in different cities.
It is worth mentioning that the appointment of Sheikh Anser Aziz as Chairman CDA, who was previously the Mayor of Islamabad, was invalidated by the Islamabad High Court.
The court directed the federal government to appoint renowned specialists from relevant fields as CDA board members.
Kashif Ali Malik, a former legal advisor of the CDA, stated that it is evident that the CDA board does not have the authority to co-opt members, as this falls under the domain of the federal government.
Justice Athar Minallah’s judgment also affirmed that individuals with financial interests in the CDA cannot be appointed as board members.
Questions regarding these appointments were sent to the Assistant Director of Public Relations at the CDA, Kamran Qureshi, but no response has been received as of the time of filing this story.
Source: The Nation