KARACHI: Following the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) directions, the Sindh chief secretary directed all the secretaries of the Sindh government to provide a complete record of development works and contracts amounting to Rs50 million and above to the Bureau.
NAB has started full scale investigations against almost all the Sindh government departments dealing with the development projects. In this regard, the Bureau wrote a letter to the Sindh chief secretary for the provision of record of contracts.
According to official correspondence copies available with The News, Sindh NAB’s Additional Director Nadeem Sheikh on behalf of Sindh NAB director general asked the Sindh chief secretary through an official letter to provide complete record of contracts including record of projects awarded, copies of work orders along with the administrative approval of such contracts amounting to Rs50 million or above of all the Sindh government, local government, all attached departments, statutory corporations and authorities.
Some Rs1,600 billions of rupees had been spent on the Sindh province’s development projects in last ten years during two tenures of Pakistan People’s Party governments. The party on many times on different forums came under criticism for less performance on ground despite spending huge money.
Only in ongoing fiscal year 2018-19, Rs252 billion was sanctioned for development projects of Sindh province.
It is pertinent to mention here that frustrated with the NAB actions, Sindh Assembly last year on July 2, 2017 passed ‘National Accountability Ordinance 1999 Repeal Bill 2017’ introduced by the PPP, aimed to bar the NAB actions in Sindh government departments and repeal the applicability of the NAO in Sindh government departments and autonomous bodies controlled by the Sindh government.
This bill could not be implemented due to strong opposition of then federal government, legal circles and opposition parties which termed this legislation a violation of Articles 248, 143, 8 and 31 of the Constitution.
According to NAB official documents, some 120 officers of upper grades, many secretaries including a Sindh former chief secretary, many officials of lower grades, ten high profile politicians, including two top office holders in the previous provincial government, who also have bright chances to make a comeback, and five former provincial ministers are under investigation in some 450 NAB inquiries of alleged corruption of billions of rupees, misuse of authority and making of illegal appointments.
However, when the PPP was contacted, they said that such inquiries have been initiated on political grounds and have no substance in them. They added that the cases will end soon and they are totally fabricated.
On the other hand, some 565 officials of different provincial government departments had been proved guilty of corruption opted for Voluntarily Return and had returned above Rs2 billion.