HYDERABAD: The Sindh Text Book Board, responsible for publishing text books for all the schools in the province, has become the latest casualty in the action against official corruption and embezzlement of public funds. The reported corruption in the publication of school books for the ongoing academic year drew the Sindh Anti-Corruption Establishment to the STBB’s head office in Jamshoro on Thursday.
“The warehouse was brimming with books [which were supposed to be distributed] to the roof,” commented deputy director Mir Nadir Abro who raided the office. He told The Express Tribune that they were surprised to find that books from 2011 were amassed in the warehouse for apparently unjustified reasons.
“The STBB was supposed to publish and distribute five million sets of books [among government schools in the province] but it did only 4.2 million,” he said, adding that the anti-corruption officials are investigating alleged embezzlement of funds meant for publishing the remaining 800,000 sets.
Abro said they have also come to know that the STBB officials have declared that their printing machines are out of order so that they can give contracts to private publishers for the sake of kickbacks. “There are only two organisations in the whole province that have the highest quality printing machines. One of them is the STBB.”
The deputy director said they will now serve notices to the STBB officials followed by the registration of an FIR.
Meanwhile, raids by anti-corruption and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) continued in many districts of southern Sindh. The anti-corruption officials raided offices of the Sindh Irrigation Department in Thatta and Sujawal districts on Wednesday and took away the record of expenditure on the Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) project over the last seven years.
The assistant director, Zawar Hussain, said that the contractors and engineers will come under investigation. In Tando Muhammad Khan district, the expenditure of Rs600 million over drainage and desilting of the water and saline channels is being investigated. The NAB and anti-corruption officials conducted separate raids in Nangarparkar and Chachro talukas of Tharparkar district. NAB assistant director Kamran Janwri told the local media that Rs320 million corruption charges are being investigated against the taluka municipal office.
Circle officer Zahid Hussain Mirani seized the records from 2011 to 2015 of the Nangarparkar TMO. The anti-corruption official said they are investigating alleged misappropriation of Rs30 million and irregularities in the appointment of 107 regular and 53 contractual staff.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2015.