ISLAMABAD -  Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan yesterday suspended a director general of Nadra and all the hiring committee members for allegedly committing gross violations in hiring a building for the authority’s offices against hefty amounts as compared to market rates.

National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) DG Tahir Akram and its hire committee members were suspended on the basis of initial investigation report of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the spokesman for the interior ministry said.

The decision was taken during the Nadra Board meeting chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. A big misappropriation in hiring process of Nadra offices also showed the alleged incompetence and bad governance on part of Nadra Chairman Usman Yousif Mubin, however, it is not clear whether he will come under the scanner of FIA or not. Nadra spokesman was not available for comments.

“Taking notice of gross violations of Pepra rules for hiring a rented building in Islamabad for Nadra offices, the interior minister suspended officials of its hiring committee, including a director general, being part of that process, after FIA submitted its enquiry report,” said the ministry. Nadra DG Tahir Akram, currently DG (legal), was holding the charge of DG (admin) when the building was hired for the offices of research and development department of the authority.

Last week, the interior minister ordered FIA to investigate the matter of a rented building near a market in Islamabad that was hired for hefty amounts as compared to the actual market rate.

According to details, the incumbent management of Nadra hired a building for Rs 4.5 million per month and the rent of 18 months was paid in advance while Nadra offices have yet to be shifted to that building.

While chairing the meeting, the minister directed Nadra to refrain from hiring any building across Pakistan for its centres.

To facilitate citizens at Nadra centres, the authority, on the directions of the interior ministry, has introduced penalty clause for discourtesy and misbehaviour on the part of Nadra officials. The penalty would be applicable with effect from October 31, 2016.

The meeting directed the Nadra management to digitalise the complaint system against Nadra officials in a second phase.

It was decided in the meeting that first phase of E-Passport should be launched in May-June 2017. During the first phase, official and diplomatic passports would be issued. The chair directed the immigration and passport director general to come up with a comprehensive strategy for the issuance of 10-year validity E-passport. He said complete conversion to E-passport should be completed within two years in a phased manner.

Regarding online passport services, the minister decided to formerly inaugurate the services on next Monday. The chair tasked Nadra to identify government lands for establishing permanent infrastructure of the authority within one month in order to permanently block avenues of corruption and address issues of transparency.

He said in cases where land for establishment of Nadra centres is not available, the Nadra Board should duly approve the hiring process.

Meanwhile, Nadra has so far verified 90.9 million CNICs, identifying 60,675 aliens/intruders during the ongoing re-verification campaign in relation to the national security drive while 2,473 aliens have voluntarily surrendered their Pakistani CNICs obtained through illegal means, the meeting was informed.

Of 2,473, 2,392 were Afghans, 57 Bangladeshis, one Indian, one each Indonesian and Iraqi who returned their CNICs voluntarily. According to details, 98 persons helped Nadra in identification of aliens in its database.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also directed the Nadra management to undertake performance audit of all its rural and urban centres along with their human resource utility to ensure optimal utilisation of available workforce.