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Dist govt awards contracts without approval

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June 27, 2006

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MULTAN: Practice of changing minutes of the district assembly meetings against the decisions of the house is rife here. The News gathered proofs that earlier unapproved proposals have been shown as approved according to the minutes while majority of house members remain unconcerned in this regard.

Available documents of the district assembly revealed the secretary read a proposal regarding award of contracts for collecting license fee, vehicle tax, trade and professional tax in Monday's meeting but majority of house members rose from their chairs and rejected the items. They viewed the matter should be handed over to financial committee but the district assembly's ruling PML party awarded the contracts worth hundreds of million of rupees to their favourites.

The house members also demanded comprehensive debate on awarding contracts but the convener of the house documented approval from the house and awarded contracts on very low rates to a company, Arshad & Co despite disapproval by the house. The company is reportedly owned by UC Nazim Chaudhry Arshad Arain.

Likewise, another item tabled before the assembly by UC-42 Nazim Sheikh Naseer Ahmed was approved in which the house was asked to get private companies to sponsor development of famous Chowks and streets in the city in lieu of which the names of the places would be changed to the names of the sponsoring company's name.

Social and public circles have viewed that this decision would harm the historical identity of Multan, its Chowks and streets. It should be noted the Punjab Local Government Commission is the sole authority to audit the proceedings documents but the commission remained aloof in taking any action on unabated violations.

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