ISLAMABAD    -    The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday formed four sub-committees to effectively dispose of pending business related to different divisions and ministries. It was informed by Chairman PAC Noor Alam Khan in a committee meeting held at the Parliament House. He said that the committees would be headed by MNAs Chaudhry Barjees Tahir, Wajiha Qamar, Saleem Mandviwala and Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed. The committees would be assigned the pending audit objections of certain years of the respective division and ministries. Meanwhile, the audit objections related to the Ministry of Maritimes Affairs also came under discussion. The auditors pointed out that Karachi Port Trust had leased out a prime piece of land on a throughway annual ground rent to housing societies causing loss of over Rs100 billion. They said that as per approved rules and regulations, lands of KPT could be leased but on rental basis or premium- cum-rental basis by inviting tender, auction and by private treaty through negotiations. It was informed that the rates for Kemari Town Ship and Kemari villages for the year 2006-07 was Rs80.64 per square meter per annum plus 7% escalation per annum compound but the KPT Board allotted three pieces of land to the housing societies/authority quite below than the prevailing rates. It was informed that 881 Acre (3,565,292 Sq Meter) KPT land at Kemari Town Ship and Kemari Village Area Karachi were allotted to Defence Housing Authority for 99 years lease at the rate of Rs0.18 per sq meter, per annum. Another piece of land measuring 250 Acre (1,011,717.3 sq meter) at Hawks Bay to United Workers Front of KPT Housing Society for 99 years lease at the rate of Rs0.10 per sq meter per annum while another KPT land measuring 130 Acre (526,093 sq meter) at MT Khan Road Karachi to KPT Officers Cooperative Housing Society Limited for 99 years lease at the rate of Rs0.10 per sq meter per annum. The audit observed that the said allotments were made without providing equal opportunities to other officers/ employees housing societies through open tender and also the lease rent was fixed much lower than approved for the areas which resulted into loss of Rs8.1 billion per annum, which is multiplying year by year. The committee members expressed grievances over the transaction of land and maintained that the matter needs a thorough probe. The Chairman PAC recommended sending the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe, however some of the members opposed the idea and suggested to conduct a ministerial inquiry and try to get the recovery as the matter is decades old. Meanwhile, the Chairman PAC decided to hold next meeting of the committee at Gwadar to get briefings from the Gwadar Port Trust Authority