CHUNIAN

WAQAS A KHAN

As price control magistrate during Ramazan, EDO (Agriculture) Ch Bashir made fake receipts of fines and looted not only the people but also caused damaged to the national exchequer, shows data collected by The Nation.

The EDO alone has misappropriated more than Rs1 million from the practice in which he issued fake receipts of fines to the shopkeepers and traders on for overcharging but the amount was never deposited in the treasury. Using the authority of price control magistrate, the EDO fined hundreds of traders including Faisal, Ashiq, Younas, Ameen, Ishfaq, Reham Ali, Akbar, Yaqoob and Quddoos.

Talking to The Nation, a vegetable market trader, Mehmood Elahi Nizami, said the EDO came to his shop and fined him Rs10,000 for overcharging but the receipt issued was of Rs1,000. He added that on the next day, he reached the EDO Office for correction in the receipt but the officer present there said, “Boss is in the meeting”, and advised him to come later. However, the right hand of the EDO, Mushtaq Meo, jolted him out of the office, snatched the receipt and tore it apart. He has also filed a complaint of fraud against the EDO with the police station.

On the condition of anonymity, sources in the Livestock, Water Management, Forests, Fisheries and Land Fertilisation provided proofs that the EDO had threatened them to make fake bills and looted millions of rupees from the national treasury. They said that the banned and unregistered pesticides were being sold with the EDO’s permission as the factory owners grease the EDO’s palms.

When questioned why they are cooperating with the EDO in this money making process, the officials said that if they refuse to do so, they are transferred. Quoting an example of Ahmad Naveed Amjad, deputy district officer, he said that Ahmad got himself transferred due to the pressure from Ch Bashir.

The sources also alleged that the EDO issued a tender in national dailies a few months ago for purchase of stationary. But, they added, in fact nothing was purchased and on the basis of fake bills millions of rupees were again embezzled.

They said that the EDO with connivance of Mehar Allah Ditta, the district officer, looted thousands of farmers in the name of re-patching of water lines but they never did so. He also misused his authority and took Rs200,000 per person as a bribe for employment in Agriculture Department, they said. Even after taking bribe, he appointed them as daily wagers and transferred them to other subordinate departments from where the newly appointed people were fired after three months.

Similarly, he employed a many overage candidates in Agriculture, Livestock, Kasur Garden and other places while the eligible candidates were rejected. Ex-DCO Kasur Irshad Hussain ordered plant nurseries in Kasur to provide precious plants without any payment for beautification of the city but these plants were sold by the EDO. Citizens have demanded a stern action against and dismissal of the EDO agriculture.