ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Rawalpindi region, has recovered Rs 185.2 million through a plea bargain in Tawana Pakistan Project scam and as a step forward has decided to initiate a separate inquiry against the two companies for their alleged in the multi-million fraud case.

NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal Khan Thursday said the bureau had decided to start a separate inquiry against M/s Maaza Pakistan Ltd, a food company and M/s Baz Creation, an advertising where the accused parties were found allegedly involved in misappropriation of funds in the scam. Both the companies got out of the way favour from the administration of Tawana Pakistan Paroject.

NAB in its initial investigations has found that Mazaa Pakistan Limited, was given the award for the supply of juices and biscuits to school-going girls, in violation of PPRA (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) Rules 2004, for the project. Violating rules and without taking bank guarantee, Rs7.74 million was paid to the company in advance.

The bureau in its probe had revealed that the media campaign for the project was awarded to the Baz Creation in violation of PPRA Rules 2004 and Rs20 million was paid to the firm in advance in violation of rules and without taking bank guarantee.

Deputy Director NAB, Abdul Jalil, who is the investigation officer in the case, has succeeded to recover Rs 185.2 million from Tanveer Hussain Manji Director Vita Pakistan Ltd. - an accused in Tawana Pakistan Scam, through plea bargain. NAB had arrested the accused on January 31, 2013 from Lahore and had produced him before the Accountability Court the next day to get his physical remand.

The accused remained in NAB’s custody for 14 days. During the course of physical remand, the accused person submitted an application for plea bargain amounting to Rs 185.2 m, which was accepted by Chairman NAB.

The Tawana Pakistan Project was approved by Ecnec (Executive Committee of the National Economic Council) in September, 2002, with the total cost of Rs360 million and the aim of the project was to address the nutritional needs of schoolgirls aging between 5 and 12.The programme remained functional in 31 districts of the country until June 2005.

The preliminary investigations of the case had revealed that Zubaida Jalal, when took over the charge of federal minister for social welfare and special education during Musharraf regime, started spending the amount of Rs571 million for the project without getting conducting an audit of the previous expenditures.

From the allocated amount for the project, Rs1, 247 million had been released to the Pakistan Baitul Maal for the provision of fresh meal to girl students of the designated districts through district coordination officers (DCOs) as well as district education officers (EDOs). A sum of Rs404 million had been released to the Agha Khan Universality for monitoring and training purposes.