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February 21, 2020

Rs1.5b lost in Rs9b irregular investment

Top Story

February 21, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Thursday took a notice of no progress by the National Accountability Bureau in an investment of over Rs3 billion by the Establishment Division in non-government companies and summoned director general NAB Rawalpindi in the next meeting.

The committee met here with its Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain in the chair.

The committee examined the audit paras relating to the Establishment Division for the year 2012-13.

Audit officials told the committee that the Establishment Division in the financial year 2012-13 invested Rs22 billion from the funds of Federal Employees Benevolent Funds and Group Insurance in government and non-government companies out of which Rs9.3 billion was invested in three non-government companies — Ease Guard 9, Agri Tech Ltd and Pace group — in which around Rs1.5 billion went down the drain.

Secretary Establishment Division Dr Ijaz Munir told the committee that according to their inquiries the investment was made after getting permission from the finance and law and justice ministries and this case was referred to the NAB by the PAC. Audit officials told the committee that the investment was made in violation of rules and it had to be referred to the NAB. Secretary Establishment Division said the NAB was about to complete investigation and action would be taken if any official was found guilty.

PAC member Sardar Ayaz Sadiq asked the names of the officials who allowed investment in these blue chip companies. Audit officials told the committee that the Evacuee Trust Property Board had also lost investment of billions of rupees in the Ease Guard Company.

The NAB representative told the committee that according to their investigation, the Establishment Division had invested 10 percent of billions of rupees in the three companies and the Investment Committee of the Establishment Division had also opposed the investment.

The committee was told that the NAB neither recovered any amount nor arrested any official. The NAB representative told the committee that they were about to files the reference against the officials of Establishment Division but the NAB legal wing objected to it.

PAC member Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed remarked that the NAB usually started an inquiry on the basis of fake applications and even arrested the accused against whom fake complaints were filed.

He said Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal were the clear example of the NAB double standard. The NAB representative told the committee that they had prepared a reference against 20 officials including Ismail Qureshi, Saeed Ahmed Qureshi, Sadiq Ali Khan, Liaquat Munir, Riaz Mehmood, Rukhsana Mehmood and others.

Rana Tanveer asked if the NAB was waiting for the government to bring an amendment to the NAB ordinance for not arresting these officials.

After a debate on this matter, the chairman PAC said since the case was in the Supreme Court, the committee will get updates on the case from the DG NAB Rawalpindi.