ISLAMABAD - Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has handed over Rs224.071 million to Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah recovered in illegal award of contracts in installation of solar streetlights under the Roshan Sindh Program.

The chairman gave the recovered money during a meeting held at the NAB headquarters here yesterday. During the meeting, Irfan Naeem Mangi, DG NAB Rawalpindi, informed that the NAB Rawalpindi had initiated probe in illegal award of contracts in the installation of solar streetlights in the municipal and town committees of Sindh under the Roshan Sindh Program.

In the investigation, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) findings showed that 19 contractors had deposited kickbacks in different fake bank accounts.  The instant investigation has revealed that three contractors namely Wadood Engineering Service Pvt. Limited along with MJB Construction Company and Zafar Enterprises (JV) were illegally awarded six contracts pertaining to a project namely “Installation of Solar Street Lights in Municipal & Town Committees of Sindh (Roshan Sindh Program)” by officers of Rural Development Department, Sindh.

He further informed that an expert from Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET), Islamabad, along with the NAB team collected solar lights from Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana and tested in the lab of PCRET, Islamabad. A report regarding technical specification of the solar light revealed that the lights are All-In-One Solar lights wherein the parts such as solar panel, battery, charge controller and LED are present and manufactured in integrated form contrary to the PC-I wherein these were mentioned as disintegrated items wherein cost estimation of each item is done separately.

The expert provided per unit cost of solar light based on the market survey on the basis of which exorbitant profit was charged by the contractors but products were totally different from the PC-1. An item which was costing only Rs600 to Rs2000 but shown in the documents at Rs60,000. However, the solar charge controller item was never purchased in actual. Under this project besides exorbitant rates of lights were Rs401.2 million and huge kickbacks were paid to govt officials to the tune of Rs. 22.3 million. The former provincial minister Sherjeel Memon had allegedly received Rs77 million which was deposited in a fake bank account.

He further informed that the total liability of the project is Rs. 505 million. The accused persons have admitted their offence and entered into plea bargain and the amount recovered is Rs305 million.

The cheques amounting to Rs224.071 million handed over to the Sindh chief secretary.  

It is to be mentioned here that NAB has already handed over land amounting to Rs 11.66 billion in fake bank account scam cases.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman NAB said that logical conclusion of mega corruption cases is the top most priority of NAB. He said NAB has no affiliation with any political party, group or individual. NAB’s faith is corruption free Pakistan considering it as a national duty.

He said NAB has recovered Rs 10 billion in sugar scam in Sindh and deposited in the national exchequer which were subsequently returned to the Sindh government. Similarly, NAB has recovered directly and indirectly Rs 23 billion in fake accounts cases and deposited in national exchequer besides NAB has returned million of rupees in Roshan Sindh Program to the Sindh Government.

He said that NAB has also returned two costly plots of Rs. 500 million to the Sindh government. He further added that the former DG Sindh Building Control Authority Manzoor Kaka illegally allotted 506 acres land of Pakistan Steel illegally, out of which the documents of 300 acres land of Rs 1 billion have been returned to the Sindh government. He said that NAB Karachi is inquiring into the installation of Solar Lights Case Phase-I and II.

The chairman said that due to the vigorous prosecution of NAB, the respected Accountability Court Karachi has accepted the plea bargain request of accused Kamran Iftikhar of Rs 1.27 billion in Pakistan State Oil (PSO) case.

He said that NAB is probing case of shortfall of anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) at public hospitals across Sindh, dog-bite patients have become more prone to rabies as the Sindh government has failed to provide the vaccine to healthcare facilities, and hence, the vaccine remains unavailable at most public hospitals besides Larkana development package on the basis of complaints.