Islamabad August 18 2023: On Thursday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) enforced a prohibition on granting No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to new housing societies.
This means that even in urgent situations, approval from the commission is now obligatory. The ECP's official announcement indicated that while the interim government possesses the capacity to handle routine operational emergencies, it's advisable to abstain from making substantial policy decisions. The ECP's notification underscores a growing apprehension, specifically alterations in land use initiated by the provincial government across different districts.
The deputy commissioners' issuance of NOCs to multiple housing societies has started to undermine crucial green spaces and productive agricultural land. This tendency could potentially result in haphazard and unplanned residential expansion, which might raise concerns about potential corruption in certain areas. The task of formulating an appropriate strategy to address this challenge rests squarely on the shoulders of the elected government, bypassing the caretaker government.
As a result, an immediate halt to the issuance of new NOCs is strongly recommended, along with an instruction to communicate this decision to all deputy commissioners. In cases where the interim government identifies pressing issues in this context or any other, they are anticipated to present a well-justified argument for assessment and endorsement by the commission before any action is undertaken. Upholding the commission's legal authority and directives is a fundamental anticipation from the caretaker government as they discharge their responsibilities.