MULTAN

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is learnt to have launched a probe into alleged massive financial misappropriations committed by the officials of Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) in setting up sub-campus of the varsity in Lahore.

Sources said that the case was referred to the NAB by the Punjab Government and the Bureau took up the case under inquiry No-302/11. “The NAB has summoned the Vice Chancellor Dr Khawaja Alqama along with complete record of the project,” sources added.

Earlier, a number of inquiries have already been held by the Punjab Government on complaints of massive corruption and irregularities in this project launched on public-private partnership basis. The BZU sources claimed that the project was not approved by the Syndicate too.

Sources said that a recent inquiry was conducted by a committee comprising senior bureaucrat Mehr Jeewan, Dr Zafar from LUMS, Secretary Higher Education Punjab and Secretary Prosecution. The committee is learnt to have submitted its inquiry report with the Chief Minister office while in the meantime the provincial government has also referred the case to NAB.

BAN ON INDIAN YARN: The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) stressed upon the government on Thursday to impose ban on import of cotton and yarn from India, impose 25 per cent anti-dumping duty on all Indian items and release Rs.25/30 billion for the procurement of 8,50,000 bales of cotton through Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to protect ginning sector from complete collapse.

The demands were risen by the Chairmen of PCGA Mukhtar Ahmed Baloch, Ex-Chairman Haji Muhammad Akram, Khalid Hanif Lodhi, Khurram Javed and Khawaja Riaz Ahmed and Shehzad Ali Khan while addressing a joint news conference here on Thursday. He warned that there would be a catastrophic situation in the country if the farmers ceased cultivating cotton because of import of cotton and yarn from India. “As many as 1250 ginning factories, 450 textile and spinning mills as well as thousands of powerlooms will be shut down, rendering more than one million workers jobless in the country,” they added. They pointed out that the government would have to import cotton worth Rs1000 billion to run the textile industry. They demanded a bailout package for the ginners and instructions to TCP to procure the unsold stock of 0.85 million cotton.

“In case the government does not impose the ban on import of Indian items, customs duty should be introduced “to protect domestic spinning industry and growers from unbridled imports of cotton yarn from India” they suggested to the government. The urged the government to direct banks to reschedule their loans to support the ginning and textile industry.