ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed a reference against ten officials of the Tawana Pakistan Project (TPP).
Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education (MOSW&SE) ex-secretary Naeem Khan, ex-joint secretary Shafiqueuz Zaman, MOSW&SE Chief Nutrition Planning Commission (rtd) Muhammad Ayub, Ex DG (SD) (TPP) presently OSD government of Balochistan Irfanullah Khan and Director (Coordination) TPP Ashique Hussain Sangi were found involved in the offence of corruption among the list of accused.
The three Vita Pakistan Limited directors Mehboob Ali Manji, Tanvir Hussain Manji and Naushad Ali Manji entered plea bargain with the NAB and Muhammad Azeem turned approver of the case during an investigation by the federal watchdog. Moreover, Muhammad Ashraf died, and the accused Muhammad Azeem was tendered conditional pardon, so they are not arrayed as the accused.
The course of inquiry and investigation revealed that the National Economic Council (ECNEC) Executive Committee approved the TPP in September 2002 with a total cost of Rs 3,600 million for 54 months expiring on 30-06-2006.
The proceedings of U/S 33-E of NA Ordinance, 1999 have been initiated separately for the accused entered into plea bargain and to the extent of defaulted amount. The accused in connivance among each other illegally and with intention of malice short-listed names of VITA Pakistan Ltd and EM-5 Nutraceutical Private Limited against the prescribed rules and procedure and ultimately handed over the contract to the said blue-eyed companies.
The project remained operational in 31 Districts across the country till June 2005 and Rs 1,674.30 million were released out of Rs 3,600 million. The operational activities of the Project were suspended in June 2005. The accused mentioned above have been found involved in the offence of corruption and corrupt practices, misuse of authority and extending illegal benefits. The accused in connivance with one another caused a loss of Rs 160 million to the public exchequer and rendered illegal gain of the same amount to their companies and themselves. According to the details on the direction of the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission, NAB(R) initiated an inquiry against Irfan Ullah Khan and others regarding Corruption and Corrupt practices in the TPP of Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education, Government of Pakistan.
The purpose and aim of Tawana Pakistan Project was to address the nutritional needs of girls between the ages of 5 to 12 years studying in Government Girls Primary Schools of high poverty areas of the country. In addition to the above the accused persons provided below standard food items that was harmful for human health rather than fulfilling their nutritional needs. They caused further loss of Rs 5.2 million to the public exchequer by not deducting income tax at the rate 3.5% from the payments made to the said companies against supply of milk and biscuits.
The NAB pleaded to the court that the investigation established that the accused in connivance and collaboration with each other accused of dishonestly, and fraudulently committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices for benefiting themselves and the co-accused, as also the misuse of authority that the accused named above be tried and punished in accordance with the law.
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