PAT Punjab issues fact sheet on malpractices & corruption

PAT Punjab has issued a fact sheet titled ‘seven years of corruption’ to expose the Punjab government’s financial irregularities and expenditure of the budgeted amount away from their earmarked purposes. It said that the billions of rupees were siphoned off in ten projects during the last seven years and the Punjab government continued to play the role of silent spectator over these massive embezzlements. It said that the adviser to Transparency International raised his objections to a number of projects who was later on appointed as adviser to the Prime Minister to silence his criticism.

The fact sheet said that in the absence of effective political opposition, the Punjab government indulged in questionable dealings and set up a record of churning out useless projects. It said that a video of a provincial minister accepting bribe was watched by the whole nation and the Chief Minister, instead of throwing him out of cabinet, patronized him. It said that an illegally constructed plaza of Rana Sanaullah was found out. The Chief Minister ordered an inquiry but its report never came to surface. However, the Punjab government stopped the demolition campaign in order to ward off criticism and save the skin of its blue-eyed minister. It further stated that corruption of billions of rupees was committed in the name of shoring up barrages and strengthening dykes in the South Punjab, a fact which was duly mentioned by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah in his report. But the Chief Minister promoted the concerned Secretary instead of punishing him.

The fact sheet was presented in the meeting of the Punjab Executive Council here today by Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Muhammad Saeed Rajput, Basharat Jaspal, and Fayyaz Warraich.

The PAT Punjab maintained that embezzlement of Rs. 30 billion was committed in the Sasti Rotti project of the Punjab government but it failed to present the record of the project despite passage of four years. Sasti Rotti and Sastay Tandoors are nowhere in sight today nor can one find the Chief Minister talking about them, whereas he had given his commitment of selling Rotti for Rs. 2. The food support programme was launched for the deserving families with Rs. 14 billion in 2011 but the money could not reach the deserving as they were pocketed en route. The Punjab government terminated the programme when financial irregularities came to the surface at a massive level. However, neither were those responsible for corruption meted out punishments nor was the looted money recovered.

The fact sheet further said that corruption of Rs. 3 billion was committed in mechanical Tandoors. This project was never got audited. The record of the project is not available either as the Tandoors have vanished from the scene. Rs. 15 billion were spent on the Danish schools but the project, which turned out to be an utter failure, was a drain on the national exchequer. The Punjab chief executive has forgotten to mention these projects. The money was gobbled up big time and a few schools were set up for the purpose of show-off.

The fact sheet said that the Punjab government held fake sports competitions in the Punjab Youth Festival in which 1.5 billion rupees were funnelled. The amount has not been audited nor its record is available anywhere. According to the facts and figures, no audit has been conducted of Rs. 150 billion given to the local government institutions from 2009 onward. The Auditor General of Pakistan wrote a letter to the government asking for the audit in this regard. The local government institutions have become hub of corruption during the last seven years. Remunerations were drawn from the exchequer in the name of 13000 youth in the Punjab Internship Programme but they were not paid.

The PAT Punjab maintained that the government admitted delay and incompetence in the Nandipur power project but none of those response this mega fiasco has been punished. About Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Project, it was said that the pilot project consisted of 100 MW but the Chief Minister told a press conference himself that 18 MW of electricity was being produced from there. He told that the solar power project was constructed with Rs. 13 billion, whereas a loan of Rs. 150 billion was taken from the Bank of Punjab. The Punjab government used the funds of education, health, and environment into construction of metro bus project. NAB called for the record of the metro bus service but it is silent now.