KARACHI: Although the Sindh government is working to improve its performance in the province, particularly in the port city, the district administration is confidently busy in swindling provincial exchequer by facilitating ghost employees, awarding contracts to blue-eyed etc., Pakistan Today learnt on Monday.
“Malir District Municipal Corporation (DMC) has been under Pakistan Peoples’ Party’s (PPP) District Chairman Jan Muhammad Baloch for the last couple of years and has received at least Rs3.36 billion for around 2,400 employees a number of whom do not exist,” sources confided in Pakistan Today.
“Sindh’s anti-corruption has received dozens of complaints against the DMC authorities for their alleged involvement of corrupt practices, including nepotism, tax collection fraud, illegal contracts to front men, budget embezzlement, fuel pilferage and feeding hundreds of ghost employees,” sources claimed.
In this connection, officials of the anti-corruption department on Monday conducted a raid at the Malir DMC office.
When contacted, Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Director Zameer Hussain Abbasi confirmed that the ACE East zone had conducted a raid under magisterial cover and seized records. “So far, evidence indicates the swindling of Rs123 million only in development and electrical engineering works. However, the maintenance and repair (M&R) works executed on paper through fake billing are separate, resulting in the siphoning of Rs90 million in the last 2.5 years,” he added.
Besides the surfacing of 680 illegal ghost appointments, an amount of Rs72 million has been siphoned through taxation fraud whereby actual collections are shown as much less in papers by skipping accounts deposits. “Almost every contract has been awarded to frontmen through the rigging of bids. In the same style, fuel pilferage and repair of vehicles are the mainstays of corrupt practices to the tune of Rs41 million,” Abbasi said.
According to Abbasi, further action for a first information report (FIR) and arrests shall be taken upon the completion of record scrutiny and interrogations within a few days.
On the other hand, Jan Mohammad Baloch told Pakistan Today that the anti-corruption department had sought records of appointments, awarding of development contracts, repairing of vehicles etc. all of which were handed over to investigators without qualms.
Interestingly, sources privy to the matter told Pakistan Today that Baloch had fled the office when the anti-corruption officers arrived to conduct the raid.