A story by Abdul Rahman Khan – Allotment of GOR houses; A Story of Corruption and Nepotism
The welfare wing of the Services and General Administration Department, S&GAD, is the caretaker of the GOR residences. There are reportedly more than 4000 residences in the pool of the welfare wing of S&GAD. The allotment of the houses is subject to the allotment policies operational at various times. However, the allotment of residences has always been a case of nepotism, favouritism and corrupt practices. The sources claim that any survey of these 4000 houses shall prove the mega corruption, nepotism and favouritism. The latest allotment policy of 2021 still needs to be implemented despite having severe legal and transparent issues. Then, the Supreme Court of Pakistan also took Suo Moto notice No.30827-5 of 2018 of the allotment case. Despite the SC notice, transparency in the allotment process still needs to be there. The same administrative favouritism is still in place. Hence, this denial of merit leads to the contempt of the Supreme Court.
The allotment process shows illegal out-of-turn allotments on CM directives and bureaucratic preferences. Then, the fundamental issue is the allotment of houses with the condition of being subject to vacation. It is a cruel practice and is not covered by the allotment policy. Administrative corruption means that the residences’ categories are not transparent and translucent. Therefore, different housing classes are imbalanced to benefit favourite officers. According to a source, the allotment of a higher category to the junior officer is the fundamental cause of nepotism. Lately, the close relative of the incumbent principal secretary to CM has been awarded the B category of the house without any transparency or merit. It is just an example; there are hundreds of such models.
The Additional Chief Secretary is the competent office to allot the houses. The authority stands deleted to additional secretary welfare to allocate the residences upto the B category. However, both offices need to implement the allotment policy and must not favour those civil servants who are close to them or the CM secretariat. This nepotism is still prevalent despite the So Motu notice by the Supreme Court. Earlier, the Chief Secretary of the province filed a written affidavit in the Supreme Court to follow the rules of the allotment of residences. He had also assured the August Court to ensure transparency in the home distribution. But, the S&GAD is not implementing the Chief Secretary’s affidavit, which is equivalent to contempt of court.
Apart from nepotism, corruption is rampant in the process of allotment. Some officers possess more than one house with the connivance of the welfare wing. The GORs are rife with encroachment, and the welfare wing cannot vacate the encroachment. The repair work of the houses not only shows nepotism but extreme corruption. There are houses in GOR-1 refurbished after spending millions of rupees. Unfortunately, the consumed amount on these houses remains unauditable. The welfare wing always funds officers close to them or have top bureaucratic or political connections. No merit is involved, and an audit can quickly surface the corruption involved. Many officers claim that the welfare wing only promotes nepotism and favouritism. The whole process of allotment and renewal of the residences is directly proportionate to the involvement of the CM secretariat and higher bureaucracy offices. It has demotivated a large chunk of bureaucracy.
There is a need to implement the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The welfare wing must end the prevalent nepotism and corruption. All 4000 GOR residences must have transparent scrutiny and only be allotted on merit and transparency. Further, the repairing funds must be audited to settle bribery and preference. If the offices of the Chief Secretary and Additional Chief secretary cannot allot GOR residences on merit, what more can be expected?