Water & power ministry: Crackdown ordered against ‘corrupt officials’

Jul 06, 2013| Courtesy by : Zafar Bhutta | tribune.com.pk

Twenty vehicles recovered from junior officials who were on deputation. PHOTO: FILE

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ISLAMABAD: Acting on reports of years of corruption in his ministry, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif has ordered a crackdown and recovered 20 vehicles illegally used by junior officials in his office, The Express Tribune has learnt.

An inquiry has also been ordered against these officials, who have been working on deputation in the minister’s office since the days of Pervez Musharraf. They have allegedly accumulated assets beyond their means through transfers and postings.

One official, Asif Ali, who was on deputation from the Privatisation Commission, used two vehicles, even though he was not entitled to an official car. According to documents, he had been booked in a theft case in the past and allegedly received Rs1.8 million during his deputation in a company despite the fact he never joined the office.

According to documents, auditors had pointed out this irregularity and recommended disciplinary action against him. He had no official order to work in the water and power ministry but was still working.

According to ministry officials, another grade-14 employee of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board had been working in the minister’s office for several years as a protocol officer. Following the minister’s directives, five vehicles were recovered from him. He is also reported to have his own flats in London. An inquiry has been initiated against him.

Similarly, Kamal Ghuri, a meter-reader of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company, working as a naib qasid in the minister’s office, was found using two vehicles, including a Pajero. These officials, sources said, were reported to have personal assets beyond their means. It is also interesting to note that the regular staff of the minister’s office uses only one high-roof for transportation purposes.

After the crackdown against these corrupt officials, the ministry of water and power could now save Rs2 to Rs3 million per month as this amount was spent on the maintenance and fuel of these vehicles, according to officials.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2013.