National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has recovered Rs 13 million from the officials of National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML), a subsidiary of Industries Ministry and private parties involved in urea scam, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
The sources said former caretaker Federal Minster for Industries and Production, Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf Sheikh had submitted an application with NAB and requested a thorough investigation into alleged massive malpractices in NIFL in transportation, stocks, distribution and weight of bags. Minister for Industries and Production, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi and Secretary Industries, Shafqat Naghmi are well aware of the current status of NFML scam.
NAB investigators, sources said, had conducted raids on godowns at different locations and found massive irregularities in stocks. Officials of Ministry of Industries and Production were also questioned. It was also revealed from investigations that ‘a gang’ of NFML officials headed by a person from its Accounts Group were involved in fleecing transporters on the plea that this amount is being paid to the Minister and Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production. NAB had also been informed about dumping of around 400 MT of urea from Eminabad store of NFML. On May 2, 2013, Deputy General Manager (Distribution) Uzair Abu Bakar wrote a letter to the then Managing Director in which he accused a senior official of involvement in the scam.
On March 26, 2013, NMFL Store Incharge Multan, Waqar in a written application had admitted receiving 1208 sweeps mix and short weight urea bags. NFML had also accused Naeem Ullah- Naib Tehseeldar of being involved in the following activities under different names at different periods: (i) cartage contractor under the name of Rahat Goods Forwarding Agency;(ii) labour handling contractor at Karachi godowns under the name of Fazal Enterprises (iii) tally contractor under the name of Fazal enterprises; and (iv) quality Pakistan System Registrar (FMC-Pvt) Limited. The sources said there is no let-up in corruption in the organisation despite NAB’s actions.
“Corrupt elements have fixed prequalification rate of Rs 2 million for existing transporters and Rs 50 million for new transporters,” the sources continued. According to sources, NFML’s real players have also allowed urea dumping to their blue eyed parties. “Officials are receiving Rs 120 per bag as commission, of which, according to their claim Rs 100 per bag are for high-ups in the Ministry and Rs 20 for the NFML officials,” the sources continued.
The sources further claim that imported urea meant for poor farmers is also being supplied to a chemical factory in Karachi. Pakistan Kissan Ittehad has also lodged a complaint against NFML for not implementing urea distribution policy in letter and spirit. According to the policy, 70 percent urea will be sold through dealers’ network whereas 30 per cent is to be distributed to the farmers directly.
When contacted, former caretaker Minister for Industries and Production, Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf Sheikh claimed that he had provided documentary evidence of plunder of the national exchequer to NAB. “I fought bravely with corrupt elements in the attached departments of MoI&P during my two months stay,” he continued. Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi also issued a press release a couple of weeks ago and claimed that he recovered millions of rupees from NFML transporters and directed the concerned department to deposit it in the official account. NAB spokesman told Business Recorder that case is in at inquiry stage and action will be taken all corrupt under the law. He is further stated that NAB investigation team has recovered total 7809 under weight urea bags from NFML godowns.