Senate panel refers mega corruption cases to NAB
ISLAMABAD – A parliamentary panel has referred three cases including clearing Rs480 billion circular debt, alleged corruption in the Multan Metro bus project and alleged manipulation of share prices of Bank of Punjab to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for investigations.
Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue Chairman Senator Saleem Mandviwalla on Saturday said that Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) is not cooperating with the parliamentary committee in investing these mage scams. “The SECP is not responding to the various letters written by the Senate’s standing committee on finance and revenue,” he stated in a press statement. Therefore, the committee has recommended referring these cases to NAB for investigations.
Mandviwalla has proposed the NAB to complete its preliminary investigations within one month and share the report with the parliamentary panel. The cases included payment of Rs 480 billion to the power sector to clear circular debt four years before, alleged corruption in the Multan Metro bus project and alleged manipulation of share prices of Bank of Punjab.
The Senate standing committee on finance has said that the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has been hiding facts and documents relating to alleged corruption in the Multan Metro bus project.
The Senate committee’s secretariat sought reasons from the SECP for keeping the documents secret. The SECP had been directed to submit its reply to the Senate body by December 15. However, the Senate committee has not received the reply of SECP.
Similarly, the federal ministries and divisions had failed to satisfy the Senate’s panel on the payment of Rs 480 billion to the power sector to clear circular debt even after four years.
The Senate standing committee on finance on December 12 had directed the Power Division to resolve the issue of the payment of Rs32.45 billion to the IPPs under idle/unutilised capacity with the Auditor General of Pakistan within two weeks. However, the Power Division reportedly failed to do so. Therefore, the matter has now forwarded to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for inquiry.
The parliamentary committee also referred the issue of alleged manipulation of share prices of Bank of Punjab (BoP) to the NAB. The Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan failed to satisfy the committee on the alleged underwriting of shares along with details of shares purchased and sold by the management and directors of BoP from January 2015 to March 2017. It was decided that the committee shall wait for SECP to compile a report after deeply looking into the matter and finding out if there have been any irregularities or illegalities in the whole process.
However, sources informed that parliamentary committee had not received any investigation report from the SECP in this regard. Therefore, the committee also referred the manipulation of share prices of Bank of Punjab (BoP) to the NAB.