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Eligibility for contract.

'M/s Bismillah Engineering Services Co. had 90 per cent shareholding and was not eligible for the contract as its maximum limit of contract was Rs150 million as laid down by Pakistan Engineering Council, while M/s SPARCO Construction Company and M/s China First Metallurgical Group Co had only 9pc and 1pc shareholdings in the joint venture, respectively.'

NAB said Mr Cheema awarded contract to M/s Lahore Casa Developers in March 2015 under a public-private partnership. While it was mandatory to obtain exact shareholding of all the firms in the joint venture at the pre-qualification stage so as to ensure award of contract to an eligible joint venture, 'the suspect in connivance with the members of the joint venture and others accepted a memorandum of understanding between the members of the joint venture/ consortium having no mention of respective shareholding in order to maliciously conceal the technical and financial capability of the firm having maximum shareholding.'

The suspect, it said, awarded the contract to M/s Lahore Casa Developers by fraudulently awarding scoring points on the basis of technical and financial data of M/s Sparco Construction Company, which had only nine per cent shareholding in the joint venture.

According to NAB, Mr Cheema in connivance with the accused contractors falsely represented M/s Sparco Construction Company as lead member of the joint venture, whereas the actual lead member was M/s Bismillah Engineering Services Co as per agreement, because the latter was ineligible for the contract.

'Suspect (Cheema) with mala fide intentions did not comply with the direction of the steering committee, a legal forum constituted under the law, regarding restriction on dilution of lead member shareholdings which caused loss to state exchequer. The suspect with criminal intent continued the process of awarding the contract even after Lahore Casa Developers submitted the joint venture agreement that revealed the actual shareholdings of its members was in sheer violation of documents submitted at the pre-qualification stage.'

NAB said the suspect's illegal actions caused loss to national exchequer as the contractor willfully failed to even initiate Ashiyana-i-Iqbal project over the past three years. 'Almost 61,000 poor applicants submitted around Rs60 million as processing fee in recent years for allotment of houses. The government incurred an amount of Rs190 million and the contractor M/s Lahore Casa Developers also caused loss in form of liquidation damages of Rs455 million approximately. In addition, the project cost also increased by hundreds of millions of rupees,' NAB said.

The bureau said the director properties of M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Limited and a close aide of accused Nadeem Zia received Rs30.9 million in his bank account from the M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Limited account maintained at DHA Lahore and same was paid for the purchase of 32-kanal land in Mouza Tedha tehsil in Lahore Cantonment. 'The said land was transferred in the name of Ahad Khan Cheema, the then DG LDA and his three close family members.'

Secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad has already appeared before NAB in the case.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Feb 26, 2018
Words:563
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