The country’s top corruption watchdog revealed that close to 400 civil servants embezzled around Rs300 billion during the past four years, but prosecution process against them remains snail-paced due to staff shortage.
Last month, NAB Chairman claimed that government departments were losing 10 to 12 billion rupees on a daily basis owing to corruption. Some Rs7.8 billion of the total embezzlement figure has been recovered, and investigation in most of the cases is in progress.
However, due to lack of manpower in the bureau, the prosecution process remained slow, said NAB spokesperson Zaffar Iqbal Khan. Some Rs300 billion of the embezzled amount can be readily recovered if action is taken against these personnel, he said.
Some 396 civil servants guilty of embezzling millions of rupees should be brought to justice, NAB told the Ministry of Law and Justice.
Official documents obtained by The Express Tribune show that investigators ‘nabbed’ 82 civil servants from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 83 from Balochistan, 76 from Punjab, 55 from Sindh, and 100 others from miscellaneous government services on charges of corruption and misuse of authority.
Punjab has been the worst-hit by the tide of corruption. Five officials are reported to have embezzled over Rs2 billion at Transport Departments Punjab (TDP).
Furthermore, the bureau unearthed embezzlement in the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). It alleged that the distribution of BISP forms was marked with corrupt practices. Four senior officials of National Engineering Services Pakistan Limited also misused their authority by misappropriating over Rs6 million.
Two former district officers of Quetta embezzled Rs9 million and fraudulently deposited money allocated to the poor.
Bank officials bear no clean slate. A senior official of National Bank of Pakistan, Abdul Qadir Jangda willfully defaulted bank loans amounting to Rs254 million. Manager of Allied Bank Limited Quetta branch, Muhammad Naeem, along with four other officers embezzled Rs27 million. Their cases are currently under trial. Branch Manager United Bank Limited, Muhammad Nawaz Qazi along with two other officers misappropriated Rs12.2 million.
Security personnel’s share
Some security personnel were also found guilty. Haji Zaro Jan, Superintendent of Frontier Corps embezzled Rs20 million. His case is under trial. Ajmal Khan, a clerk serving for the Frontier Corps, allegedly embezzled Rs8 million as assets beyond his means were found in his account.
Former Secretary General, Institute of Engineering, Pakistan, Chaudhry Muhammad Rashid Khan embezzled Rs22.5 million and his assets were found beyond means.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2012.
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