Former premiers Yousaf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf using their discretionary powers had distributed over Rs12 billion on account of development schemes under the Peoples Works Programme (PWP-II) among non-elected representatives of communities instead of parliamentarians, The Express Tribune has learnt.
According to an audit report ex-PM Ashraf had released around Rs52 billion under PWP-11 against the rules and guidelines of Planning Division.
He had approved Rs8.8 billion funds to unelected notables under the PWP-II during the last months of his tenure in addition to another Rs1.947billion released earlier, the report of Public Works Department (Pak PWD) revealed.
According to a report of the Director General (DG) Audit another whopping sum of Rs37.8 billion was distributed as development funds among the leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its coalition allies. Most of the notables who received the funds belonged to the constituencies of Gilani and Ashraf and their close relatives, the PWD report further revealed.
The report notes that several beneficiaries of the development funds did not exist. The report found more than 50% of the PWP-II development schemes bogus and non-existing during physical inspection conducted by the PWD in compliance of the Supreme Court orders in the suo motu case regarding spending billions of rupees from discretionary fund by former PM Raja Pervez Ashraf.
Yousaf Raza Gilani
The contents of the PWD report relating to PWD Central Zone Lahore available with The Express Tribune state that Rs68 million were released from PWP-II funds to two notables belonging to Sahiwal and Multan during fiscal year 2007-2008, an amount of Rs245.027 million was distributed among 12 notables during 2008-2009, an amount of Rs989.655 million to 57 notables during 2009-2010, around Rs353.358 to 22 notables during 2010-2011 and Rs1.304 billion were released to 80 notables during 2011-2012 by then PM Yousaf Raza Gilani under PWP-II for development schemes.
During the course of physical inspection it was found that about Rs7 billion have been embezzled by the notables, contractors and the officials of the Pak PWD because more than 50% schemes did not exist, sources familiar with the development told The Express Tribune.
A senior official of the Pak PWD said that Gilani had introduced this illegal practice of giving development funds to notables and party supporters instead of public representatives under PWP-II.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.