LAHORE: Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed on Tuesday found financial irregularities of millions of rupees in the Daanish Schools project initiated by the Punjab government.
According to details, the audit papers of Punjab Daanish Schools-the project that was launched under ‘The Punjab Daanish Schools and Centres of Excellence Authority Act’ in 2010, came under discussion during the meeting of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday in the Punjab Assembly (PA) where financial irregularities of millions of rupees were pointed out by the opposition leader during the construction of schools under the project.
“The consultant company International Desires Group (IDG) was hired for its services despite the fact that this company has given higher tariff rates. It must be blacklisted in the future as the company has looted millions of rupees from the public exchequer,” Rasheed said, who is also Public Accounts Committee chairman. He further said that the consultancy company did not spare even the noble field of education and therefore it must not be given any project in the future, while seeking a report from the Finance and Communication and Works (C&W) departments in the next meeting of the Public Accounts Committee. Punjab Minister for Finance Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, members of Punjab Assembly (MPAs) Sabtain Khan, Qazi Adnan Fareed, Dr Nadia Aziz, Asif Bajwa and officials from School Education Department and Punjab Daanish School also attended the meeting.
It is not the first time that the opposition leader had pointed out corruption in the mega projects of the Punjab government, as he had earlier revealed corruption scams in many companies of the Punjab government established under the public-private partnership.
According to the opposition leader, the Punjab Saaf Paani Company was established in 2014 with an objective to provide clean drinking water to the people and a hefty amount of Rs130 billion was allocated for this purpose. He said the company miserably failed to provide clean drinking water and its budget ballooned to Rs190 billion in just three years because of the incompetency of the government, adding that the Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif sacked the entire hierarchy of the company just to hide the inefficiency of his government.
It is worth mentioning here that a scam of 56 companies of the Punjab government, including Lahore Parking Company, Lahore Waste Management Company and Punjab Saaf Paani Company, surfaced recently and the opposition leader had repeatedly demanded a general debate on this issue in the Punjab Assembly.
Moreover, he also announced that participation of the opposition would be conditional in the next provincial assembly session provided the chief minister was present. The CM had made rare appearances during proceedings of the provincial assembly proceedings during the last five years and the opposition wanted him to attend in order to provide detailed answers regarding rampant corruption in 56 Punjab-based companies.