The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday arrested a member of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) whereas another member and a former chairman have found a ‘safe haven’.
The arrest was made after the Supreme Court admonished NAB for not taking action against the Ogra officials who are allegedly involved in corruption worth over Rs52 billion.
Some government officials said that Kamal Mari, member finance Ogra, and former chairman Tauqir Sadiq had political backing and therefore have found a ‘safe heaven’.
Senior official of NAB, Zafar Iqbal ruled out intentional delay in the arrest of Ogra officials and said that arrest warrants for Mari and Saqiq had been issued. “NAB teams are after these two officials,” he said, adding that perhaps they have found a ‘safe haven’ and NAB will arrest them.
In its report submitted to the apex court, NAB had said that the Ogra officials had inflicted a loss of Rs52 billion on the national exchequer as well as consumers due to their corrupt practices in different dealings.
NAB found irregularities, like increase in gas theft and leakage ceiling and issuance of unauthorised compressed natural gas (CNG) station licences, due to the decisions taken after the ‘controversial’ appointment of former Ogra chairman Tauqir Sadiq, who also appointed about 50 officers, including his nephew, in the authority in violation of rules and policy matters. Ogra also spent around Rs13 million on the appointment of lawyers, which were not part of the approved panel.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2012.