The Defence Housing Authority Islamabad Ordinance 2007

PILDAT Legislative Brief

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Publication No: CMR-030

Rs 3,000  

This Ordinance was introduced by President Pervez Musharraf and represented a further expansion of the already existing model of Defence Housing Authorities in Karachi and Lahore. The Ordinance served to change the status of the previous body, the Army Welfare Housing Scheme (“AWHS”), from a private, regulated authority to a quasi-public, commercial entity. This expansion was a further step in the process of enlarging the interests of the Armyrelated institutions into non-military, commercial concerns, whilst granting discriminatory advantage to the Army-related institutions in terms of the market. The Ordinance dissolved the AWHS and transferred its assets and liabilities to the newly created DHA. The DHA was established as a corporate body, with legal identity and the ability to enter into contracts, hold land and sue/be sued. The Ordinance established a governing body, headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Aviation, along with an Executive Board to carry out the administrative, executive and financing functions of the DHA. The Executive has broad-ranging powers to purchase and develop land, enter into contracts and financial transactions, raise funds, plan developments, employ staff and issue rules and regulations. It may also operate an Authority fund, into which all of its funds are placed. However, in addition to these standard commercial functions, the DHA is granted a number of significant public and quasi-public powers, which grant it a significant advantage over privately operated concerns. The DHA operates as a municipal authority, effectively as a form of unelected and unaccountable local government. Its employees are civil servants and are given effective immunity in respect of legal proceedings arising from any actions taken in good faith. The provisions of the Industrial Relations Act do not apply to its employees. The DHA Executive also has a broad power to make and issue rules and regulations to assist it in carrying out its functions.

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