Sunday, February 3, 2013

State Aristocracy’s Pakistan – 16: Make a fake project and plunder the tax money of the citizens

Enver Baig’s 2008 report on ‘Tawana Pakistan’ still not implemented

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) took almost four years to probe multi-billion scam of Tawana Pakistan Project and is still probing, but a Senate sub-committee headed by former Senator Enver Baig in September 2008 had investigated the scam and identified all the accused involved in it. However, the findings were dumped in the Senate Secretariat since 2008 and government did not touch it. During his tenure as a senator, Enver Baig continued to raise hue and cry for taking action against all accused on the basis of his report, but all proved to be a cry in the wilderness.

The sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Social Welfare headed by former Senator Enver Baig had recommended to the government to take stern action to recover the embezzled public money which was spent on purchase through fictitious bills and by violating the rules, regulations, procedure and law.

Tawana Pakistan Project of Rs3.6 billion was launched during Musharraf regime to provide nutrient milk to schools of the least developed areas but it was turned into mega scandal in which billions were siphoned off by the top officials. Baig, who headed the Senate sub-committee and conducted the probe in 2008, and found out that the project money was siphoned off to the refurbishment of ministry’s offices, ministers’ residence, fictitious billing on car maintenances, bogus TA/DAs, inflated telephone bills, unauthorised medical treatment, refurbishments of rented office accommodations at prohibitive high prices.

In its report Enver Baig committee had recommended in September 2008, that the FIA should take immediate and stern action to recover the embezzled Public money which was spent on purchase through fictitious bills and by violating the rules, regulations, procedures and law. Enver Baig’s sub committee had also recommended that the advances extended to the officers / officials working in the project may also be recovered without further waste of time.

The sub committee had also recommended that the role of Zubeda Jalal, who was Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education, needs to be investigated without which the objectives of the whole exercise would not be met.  According to minutes of the sub-committee headed by Enver Baig available to The News, Managing Director Pakistan Baitul Mall Zamurrad Khan had also appeared before the committee and criticised this project and said that this project remained in existence for about 20 months and Rs600 million were spent out of which Rs180 million were utilised for the real purpose and the balance of Rs420 million were embezzled by 20 to 25 persons.

Zamurrad Khan had informed the committee that millions of rupees were illegally paid in cash to individuals ignoring all government rules and regulations and Rs200 million in cash was granted to M/s Vita Bread (EMS) and M/s Maza.

Former Secretary Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education G M Sikandar had told the sub-committee that M/s Vita Bread (EMS) was approved by former Secretary Naeem Khan whereas Maza was approved by the Project Director Irfanullah Khan.  The main accused in the Tawana Pakistan Project Irfanullah Khan is still an absconder and NAB had failed to arrest him so far.

While giving the background of Project Director of the TPP Irfanullah Khan to the sub-committee headed by Enver Baig in 2008, Dr Aleem Mehmood, former Secretary, had told the committee that a post of grade-20 was created for which the minimum criteria was PHD degree or its equivalent but Irfanullah Khan was appointed though he did not fulfil the requirement and even he was not fit for job as per medical report of Brig Moadat Rana, Psychiatrist, MH Rawalpindi. But this person had many high-level contacts and bout 60 percent cases are still pending against him,” Dr Aleem had told the Enver Baig’s committee.

It is to be mentioned that the NAB Rawalpindi arrested Tanveer Hussain Manji Director, Vita Pakistan Ltd, who had caused a loss of Rs160 million approximately to the public exchequer in Tawana Pakistan Project of defunct ministry of social welfare in the award of contract of milk to M/s EM-5 Nutraceutical Pvt Ltd. Illegal grain was provided to M/S Vita Pakistan Limited and M/s Chen 

[The News, February 3, 2013] 

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