Govt moves to cancel Nam flat allotments | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 18, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 18, 2008

Govt moves to cancel Nam flat allotments

CA's office asks housing ministry to take steps

The chief adviser's office directed the housing and public works ministry to initiate steps to cancel allotments of Nam flats to former lawmakers occupying those now, and to ask them to pay increased rents after getting fresh allotments, said housing ministry officials.
The move came on the heels of March 17 publication of a report in The Daily Star headlined 'Row over control of Nam apartments; Ministry, JS Secretariat at odds over increased rents'.
Sources said the ministry might soon send a letter to the speaker of the now dissolved eighth parliament with a deadline in this regard.
The housing and public works ministry received the instruction on Sunday in response to its letter to the CA's office informing the latter about the status of realising the revised rents --- Tk 20,000 a month for a 1,250sqft flat and Tk 25,000 a month for a 1,800sqft flat --- for the ex-lawmakers who are presently occupying about 160 Nam apartments in the capital.
The rents were increased from Tk 400 and Tk 500 in line with recommendations of a committee formed by the Parliament Secretariat last year to work out a policy for Nam flat allotments as the parliament had not been in place for a long time.
Complying with the committee's recommendations, the ministry asked the Parliament Secretariat in June of last year to cancel the allotments to the ex-MPs. It also asked the ex-lawmakers to apply for fresh allotments to the Directorate of Government Accommodation (DGA) and pay the increased rents.
As recommended, the ministry also started renting out 90 vacant apartments on a temporary basis to government officials of the ranks of deputy secretary and above, for Tk 12,000 a month for a 1,200sqft flat and for Tk 15,000 a month for a 1,800sqft flat.
Getting no response from the Parliament Secretariat despite sending several letters, the ministry recently submitted a summary on the status of the flats to the CA's office.
"In response, the CA's office instructed us to take necessary steps to implement the flat allotment policy made by the Parliament Secretariat formed committee," said an official of the ministry.
Asked about their next course of action, he replied, "We'll decide that very soon."
Talking to The Daily Star earlier, Deputy Speaker of the House Akhter Hamid Siddiqui said cancellation of the former lawmakers' allotments requires approval of the parliament as the allotments were made by the House Committee.
Out of the 324 flats constructed in 2001 for Nam (Non-Aligned Movement) Summit in Dhaka, management of 304 flats went to the Parliament Secretariat and those were allotted to the members of the eighth parliament in June 2005.
After some lawmakers had vacated some flats, the management of the flats were given to the housing and public works ministry.
Many ex-lawmakers are not living in the flats currently, their families and relatives however are, while some other ex-lawmakers have been holding news conferences there.

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