Monday, 02 March 2009 12:51
OPF housing scheme back on track
THE Overseas Pakistan Foundation (OPF) has announced that the OPF Housing Scheme Zone-V Islamabad will be reorganized and that its work is in progress after acquiring permission from its board of governors, said Ch. Zafer Iqbal, permanent member of the OPF committee and member of the board of governors (BOG), president of Pakistan Establishment Society and Chuntra Welfare Society Jeddah, and coordinator of Logistic Forum Jeddah. The OPF project was shelved after it faced a few initial glitches.“Zone-V Islamabad is a very important project. Those who paid 15 years ago for this housing scheme were distressed when it was delayed due to certain reasons,” he said.
He said the project was announced without “doing the ground work,” and that the biggest challenge facing Pakistan’s progress is the land mafia.
The contract of the Zone-V housing scheme has been awarded to the Frontier Work Organization (FWO), which has a setup under the control of the army to foil any plot of the land mafia. The development of the zone will be completed within 2 years.
“The board has decided that those who paid for the land 15 years ago will get their plots first. Allocations for new plots in Zone-V Islamabad for overseas Pakistanis will also be announced,” Iqbal said.
He said that in the next meeting with the OPF Minister and the BOG he would propose life insurance coverage for overseas Pakistanis in cases of death/disability, a legal aid agency for families of overseas Pakistanis who live in Pakistan, an assured quota in technical/professional colleges for children of overseas Pakistanis, and a 10 to 15 percent quota for overseas Pakistanis in the National Assembly.
OPF is a legal organization created for the welfare of overseas Pakistanis, established under the 1979 Emigration Ordinance, and registered with the Companies Ordinance under the Ministry of Labor, Manpower and Overseas.
“The PPP government has recently separated the Overseas Ministry from the Ministry of Labor and Manpower and has made it a full-fledged ministry under Dr. Farooq Sattar,” Iqbal said.
Every Pakistani national who works abroad on an employment visa automatically becomes a member of the OPF. “Others can become OPF members by submitting a copy of their passport at the OPF center,” he said. – SG
OPF Housing Scheme Islamabad Map