ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed a reference against Benazir Income Support Programme’s former chairperson Farzana Raja, former Press Information Officer and 17 others over corruption in advertisements of programme.

The accused had allegedly allotted illegal contracts to favourite advertising companies and casued Rs 46 billion losses to the support programme.

According to the copy of reference available with The Nation reveals that a complaint was received in the Bureau wherein it was alleged that Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) awarded contracts to advertising agencies in the years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011amounting to Rs 1.1.547 billion in violation of Public Procurement Rules , 2004. It was further alleged that out of said Rs 1.657 billion , business of Rs 1.467 billion was awarded to one advertising agency namely M/s Midas (pvt) limited/accused No. 16 (M/s Midas). The competent authority authorised an inquiry on 23-05-2014 which was subsequently upgraded into investigation. It further said that the evidence collected during the investigation has established that the accused No. 1 to No.15 being public office holders, by misusing their respective authorities, pre-qualified advertising agencies in the year 2009 and awarded the media campaign of BISP in violation of PPR, 2004 as well as PID guidelines and released media payments.

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 against the exaggerated fake bills submitted by the accused Bo. 16 and committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices.

It also said that that during the course of investigation, it has been established that that the accused No.1 to No.15 being public office holders in connivance with the co-accused No.16 committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices  by misuing their respective lawful authorities and illegly and fraudulently extended illegal benefits to the blue euyed accused No.1 to disguise true ownership/purchase  of her benami property and causing loss of Rs 540 million on account of overcharging in media payments of BISP and embezzlement the same including the fraudulently amount of Rs 70 million of GST for which they are all jointly responsible

It further said, in view of the foregoing facts, reasons and circumstances, it is respectfully prayed that accused persons may kindly be tried by this Honarable court or any other court of competent jurisdiction at the designated place and may graciously be punished in accordance with law.