NAB seizes record, summons telecom firms
By: Abrar Saeed
ISLAMABAD: Besides taking into possession all the record relating to the Rs 47 billion tax wavier being given to all the five telecom companies, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) authorities directed the five telecom companies involved in the affair to appear before the NAB investigation team to record their point of view in the matter.
According to NAB spokesman, the cellular companies were about to secure tax waiver under SRO No. (1)/2012 dated June 30 and timely intervention of the NAB authorities prevented the move to cause loss of Rs 47b to the national exchequer. The telecom companies were directed to appear before the NAB investigation team to give their point of view in the alleged tax waiver scam involving Rs 47b tax evasion.
The spokesman further informed that NAB authorities have also taken into custody all relevant record from the offices of FBR’s Chief Commissioner Large Tax Unit. It is pertinent to mention here that earlier on July 4, 2012 Chairman NAB Admiral (Retd) Fasih Bokhari after having air of the matter had taken preemptive move to safeguard Rs 47 billion of tax payers money and asked Chairman FBR to appear in person to explain details about defaulted amount.
The chairman FBR was also directed not to take any further action in terms of waiver of tax worth Rs 47 billion to cellular companies. It is worth mentioning here that the Chairman NAB directed FBR authorities to act upon the following four-point agenda. No waiver whatsoever will be granted to cellular companies on grounds of inter-connect charges; depute lawyer to get stay vacated by producing evidence in the honourable court, which has been pointed by the NAB; would approach NAB where the necessity of recovery arises and express their commitment to work closely with NAB in larger interest of safeguarding the national exchequer.
Meanwhile the Executive Board meeting of NAB held under the chair of Chairman Admiral (Retd) Fasih Bokhari gave approval for conduct of some six inquiries while dropped some two under investigation inquiries while a case was referred to the Prevention Division for comparative study. The meeting further decided to refer two cases to Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab for further proceedings.
The board meeting approved conducting of inquiry against officials of NBP allegedly involved in causing loss of Rs. 2b to national exchequer in NBP Karobar Scheme launched in 2006. The scheme was related to the disbursement of loans for various projects like CNG Rickshaws. In another case an inquiry was ordered against the management of USF and M/o Information Technology where the accused were alleged for misuse of authority and illegal payment of Rs 120.787m to unregistered advertising agency. The third inquiry was marked against the officials of WAPDA / PESCO Peshawar and others allegedly involved in facilitating power theft by the private sector hence causing massive loss to the national exchequer.
The fourth inquiry was ordered against former IRO (Rana Sajjad Hussain) Burewala Regional Tax Office, Multan and others. The accused were alleged to have caused the loss of millions of rupees in terms of illegal / fake and arbitrary demand of withholding tax and receiving of bribe. Another inquiry was marked against President Pakistan Boxing Federation (Doda Khan Bhutto) and others for embezzlement of millions of rupees in the funds and transferring the same his personal accounts while the last inquiry was directed against the CEO and Directors of M/s T & N Pakistan Pvt. Ltd. Faisalabad under section 31-D of NAO 1999, the accused were alleged for Willful Loan Default of Rs 1540m.
In another case against the officials of CDA, the board referred the case to its Prevention Division for conducting a comprehensive study. The accused persons were charged for misuse of authority and embezzlement of funds in the civil work of the Arts and Crafts Village (A&CV) of CDA. The board, after detailed discussion, came to the conclusion that there is a need to study the relevant laws and regulations to come at a certain conclusion.
The Board also decided to close two inquires due to lack of incriminating evidence, first against Umar Khan Kundi, TMO, D.I.Khan where the accused was alleged for accumulation of assets beyond known sources of Income; and second against Abdul Hafeez Gichki, EDO (Revenue), Gwadar and others where the accused persons were alleged for illegal construction of a wall on state land.
The board decided to transfer two cases to Anti-Corruption Establishment, Punjab under section 18-D of NAO 1999. First, against Aleem Sherazi Patwari, Revenue Department Jaranwala Distt Faisalabad and others. The accused persons were alleged for misuse of authority and illegal / fraudulent allotment of 8 x LOTS of around 100-Kanal each at Chak No. 67/GB, Tehsil Jaranwala Distt Faisalabad under Chief Minister’s Progrmme for allotment of land to landless peasants of Punjab. Second against Nasir Butt, Inspector Police Gujrat and others, the accused persons were alleged for accumulation of assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
The Board approved to accept Voluntary Return (VR) of Rs 38 million from officials of Education and Literacy Department in a case of purchase of stationery and other items in CIDA Project. The accused were alleged for misappropriation in purchase of stationary items for CIDA project. In another case of Willful Loan Default the Board approved a VR of Rs 30.67 million from Zafar ul Hassan and Muhammad Sohail Ashraf Directors of M/s Kamoka Textile Mills (Pvt) Ltd, Faisalabad.
The board approved the recommendation of NAB (KP) where Mr. Khan Muhammad, SDO, Peshawar Development Authority, involved in corruption by constructing substandard retaining wall along Gandaw Khawar and other projects, was allowed to pay his liability within a period of one year as the accused was a flood affectee 2010 and requested for time to pay his last instalment (Rs 0.41 million).
The board approved waiver of Rs 0.46 million in favour of the widow of another accused Aurangzeb Contractor as she made a request on the analogy that she is unable to pay the last instalment due to her poor economic condition.