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Date Posted: 07:00:13 01/23/05 Sun

By Shahnaz - 28 November 2003

Some people have shown their happiness on Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan prohibiting automobiles and real estate dealers to collect deposits before actual delivery of products/plots etc. These people say this practice was “more specifically” present in housing societies.

Belief that such a practice limits with private concerns only is wrong. There are many examples. For one example Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) which is a semi autonomous body under Federal Ministry of Labour and Manpower long ago seeked applications for allotment of plots in its “Chatter Housing Scheme” Murree. It invited applications on First-Come-First Basis. Everyone of us knows that the first-come-firm-basis means “product is ready available, come, pick one up, pay, take and go home”. Which in simple wording means packets of potatos are ready, give money by one hand and pick up one packet in the other hand and go your home. On receipt of applications with advance payment OPF kept these un-attended instead of allotting. Later on it was revealed it had started collecting money, in fact offered to sell an item over which it had till then no proprietary control, no legal rights. After collecting money it enjoyed earning tremendous profits on deposited amounts and one day it refunded only principal on a flimsy ground that NOC for scheme was with drawn. The fact was it had not got sole rights over the land and started offering for sale without any legal rights to sell. Similar thing happened when it started selling plots in its non existence Faisalabad Colony and now after more than 12 years it has asked people to get refund back

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