KARACHI: The Sindh government issued show-cause notices to more than 60 officials to remove them from services after they voluntarily returned embezzled money to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
NAB had introduced a 'Voluntary Return (VR)' drive to encourage Sindh government officials to return money they earned through corruption and misappropriation of funds. However, these officials faced the consequences of coming forward when the Sindh government removed them from their posts. A state of uncertainty was created among bureaucrats and employees who confessed to have committed the crime of embezzling government-funds.
"You are alleged to have committed an act of misconduct under Section 3 of the removal from service, Sindh Government Ordinance 2000," stated one of the show-cause notices issued by education secretary Fazlullah Pechuho a few days ago to grade-18 officer, Mohammad Paryal Shaikh.
Shaikh embezzled government money amounting to Rs4.6 million that he returned to NAB through VR, according to the notice. The notice further dispensed the need for an inquiry and called upon Shaikh to show cause within 14 days of the notice as to why the prescribed penalty should not be imposed. If he fails to provide a proper explanation, he will face further action.
Another show-cause notice has been issued to Sukkur district BS-18 education officer Razia Begum. She confessed to embezzlement of Rs400, 000. Meanwhile, former Sukkur assistant education officer Khalid Ahmed Mahar has also been served show-cause notice after he returned Rs6.9 million to NAB through VR.
Similar show-cause notices have been issued to district education officers working in various parts of Sindh. Sources in the Sindh government said that not only education departments, but many employees working in local government, revenue, works and services, health and irrigation have given back the amount they had embezzled in the last few years.
"I will not succumb to pressure and you will soon hear the decision against these officers," said Pechuho, refuting reports of these show-causes aiming to pressurise government officials to not surrender the amount before NAB through VR.
Meanwhile, a NAB spokesperson said that the bureau has decided to lay hands on those involved in massive corruption and it will continue its action. "We are completing the list of government officials who have returned the embezzled money through plea bargain and VR," said the NAB spokesperson.
So far, around Rs1. 5 billion has been recovered from officers and employees of the Sindh government," he said, adding that NAB will soon share the details of this amount with the media.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2016.
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