ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has taken notice of alleged corruption of Rs14 billion in Karachi-Lahore Motorway project and asked Director General NAB Rawalpindi to submit report after completion of complaint verification.

Transparency International (TI) Pakistan had filed a complaint in the Bureau regarding allegations of collusion in the award of Karachi-Lahore Motorway Project by NHA to M/S China Railway 20 Bureau and ZKB of Pakistan at a cost of Rs148.65 billion causing an alleged loss of Rs14 billion to the national exchequer.

The NAB has authorised complaint verification into the alleged mis-procurement by officers of NHA including award of Karachi-Lahore Motorway Project by NHA to M/S China Railway 20 Bureau and ZKB of Pakistan.

According to available documents with The Nation, TIP had requested the chairman in its letter to probe into the allegations.

The TIP examined the clarification dated 15 June given by NHA on the allegations and the clarification given by NHA reveals that NHA is trying to manipulate the Public Procurement Rules 2004 and PEC standard bidding documents for larger works, which are mandatory for NHA to abide by while processing any tender.

The TIP also requested the chairman NAB to hold inquiry into this alleged mis-procurement and take action against officers and beneficiaries in accordance with NAO 1999 and recover money from them.

According to NHA, China Railway 20 Bureau Group has executed similar work of Rs91 billion and fulfils the required prequalification criteria. As per laid down procedure in biding documents provided, the contract was duly endorsed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and countersigned by counselor embassy of Pakistan Beijing and then it was accepted. On the basis of these documents, CR20G were pre-qualified. The other pre-qualified firms also submitted documents with similar authentication which were accepted, the documents say.