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February 19, 2020

SSIC buildings

Karachi

 
February 19, 2020

The SHC has directed the chief secretary to constitute a committee to examine as whether properties of the Sindh Small Industries Corporation (SSIC) were leased out by an open auction or undue favour was being given some people.

The direction came on a petition with regard to affairs of the SSIC. The SSIC director submitted a report mentioning that various properties of the SSIC, including vocational training centres, had been leased out to individuals in the lease period which varied from 30 to 99 years.

According to the SSIC director finance, since these buildings were not in use of the corporation therefore they had leased out these buildings to individuals and subsequently the earning received by it was to be used to cope up the financial needs of the corporation with regard to salaries and pension as there was no mechanism to receive any amount from the finance department.

The finance director submitted that many buildings had been given back to the technical education department hence the properties which were owned by the department and under the domain of the Sindh Industries Department which shall be used for industrial purpose or for education only by establishing innovation centres like vocational centres.

The single bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar, observed that the fact that properties of the SSIC were not in the use raised questions about the functioning of the SSIC towards its objectives which is to promote and develop small and cottage industries. The court observed that developing small and cottage industries shall justify the functioning of the SSCI which shall not only serve its purpose but shall also bring fruits for public as well the SSCI itself.

The court observed that the plea taken by the SSCI was not worth appreciating and since the plea of leasing of buildings had been taken to justify an act which otherwise appeared at the cost of the objective of the SSIC to public at large through small industries, it would be appropriate that the chief secretary constituted a committee to verify that whether these properties were leased out by an open auction or undue favour was extended.

The court observed that if undue favour was extended then the committee would recommend legal process for an action against delinquents as well as restoration of the property through legal course, and whether these properties were meant for vocational training centres or institutions.