Ordinance issued: Govt clears path to directly appoint CDA chief, members

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday promulgated an ordinance which would allow the government to appoint civil servants directly on to key posts of the civic agency while granting them greater protection in the event of ‘temporary disqualifications’.

On Wednesday, the federal cabinet had approved an amendment to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Ordinance 1960, which would allow civil servants to be appointed as the CDA chairman, the vice chairman and financial adviser.

Since neither the Senate nor the national assembly is in session, President Mamnoon, while exercising powers conferred under clause- 1 of Article 89 of the Constitution, promulgated the CDA Amendment Ordinance 2018, later the same day.

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Before the end of 2017, the Islamabad High Court had ruled that the appointment of Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz as the chairman of CDA on an additional charge was illegal, effectively booting him out of the CDA. The court had subsequently directed the federal government to appoint a new head of the CDA within 45 days.  Work at CDA had subsequently ground to a halt as well.

However, the law had barred the government from appointing civil servants to the post of CDA chairman or administrative members.

The federal cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, had taken up amendments to the CDA Ordinance 1960 during its meeting on Wednesday.

The Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) had proposed four amendments to the ordinance, including to section 6 in subsection 2.

The section states: “The [federal government] shall appoint a chairman, a vice chairman and a financial advisor from amongst the members.”

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This was proposed to be amended to: “The federal government shall appoint a chairman, a vice chairman and financial advisor from amongst the civil servants of the federal government in basic pay scale-20 and above.”

Other proposed amendments include one to section 6(3), which relates to the duration of the chairman and the member’s term.

The ordinance currently fixes the term for members at four years, while chairman could be appointed for up to five years. However, this has now been amended to limit the term of the chairman and members of the authority to just three years, unless removed prematurely by the government.

Moreover, the government has sought to protect members of the CDA’s board from being disqualified in the event they are disqualified temporarily from the membership of any elected body.

Clause (f) in section 8 had read: “If he is for the time being disqualified for membership of any body established by or under any law for the time being in force of which the constituent members are wholly or partly chosen by means of election.} has been omitted, which deals with disqualification of members.”

However, the clause has been omitted in the amended ordinance.

The amendments proposed by CADD were approved by the cabinet without any changes.  They were subsequently approved by the president who promulgated the ordinance. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2018.

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    Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1606493/1-ordinance-issued-govt-clears-path-directly-appoint-cda-chief-members/