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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), on Thursday, assured the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to expedite working on 21 cases referred to them and soon be filed in the NAB court after the approval from the executive board.

The PAC met under its chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain.

The assurance was given, while reviewing progress report of the issues referred to the NAB by the PAC and its sub-committee.

Rana Tavneer directed the chairman NAB to come in the committee and should not feel shame.

He said the NAB should assist the committee in recovery of various cases referred to them rather to put in cold storage.

He maintained it would help the committee to enhance its recovery efforts as Rs480 billion was recovered in three years.

The chairman further observed that although the NAB was investigating political cases but it should also take billions of rupee cases referred to them of financial corruption and fraud.

The NAB official said it was a wrong perception that it was dealing only in cases of political nature.

He said the NAB recovered Rs1.29 billion in BICO Oil Refinery case and $17.8 million from Karkay company referred to them.

Each year the NAB completed its 300 to 400 investigations and carried 700 investigations, he added.

Member Committee Munaza Hassan said it was a serious matter that the number of corruption cases were going up.

Another Member Sherry Rehman questioned why the PPP’s senior political leader Khursheed Shah was kept in the NAB custody for last two and a half years and no reference was filed.

She said who would compensate in case, he got acquittal from the NAB court. Citing example, Naveed Qamar said he was released from the court after two years in custody.

He raised a serious question that why the NAB took an accused in custody before investigation and court trial. Director NAB explained that the accused was taken in custody before the completion of investigation, so that he might not destroy the valid record or influence the case.

While examining the Audit Report of the Aviation Division for the year, 2019-20 pertaining to imprudent award of consultancy contract for improvement of kitchen services $11 million given by the PIA management, the FIA officials said the case was closed after no evidence was found.

The officials of the PIA further claimed that the fruitful efforts of the PIA helped them to bring down the accumulated losses of PIA from Rs490 billion to Rs350 billion and audited accounts of financial year 2019-20 revealed that operational profit was Rs2.7 billion.

However, they said the operational profit went down in financial year 2020-21 to Rs2.4 billion due to lockdown and Covid restrictions.

The committee also directed the director general FIA to come in the committee and explain why the FIA failed to complete the inquiries referred to them in various cases.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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