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Punjab anti-corruption dept recommends criminal action against Raza Mansha.

Byline: Hasnaat Mailk

ISLAMABAD -- An inquiry team of Punjab Anti-Corruption Department has recommended initiating criminal action against Muhammad Raza Mansha, son of one of the country's biggest business tycoons, for allegedly causing heavy loss to the public exchequer while setting up a cement factory.

The special joint inquiry team has noted that 'serious lapses/ illegalities/ irregularities have been committed by different departments in the process of setting up cement factories and favouritism was extended to the proponents DG Khan Cement factory and Bestway Cement factories.'

The committee has also proposed criminal action/imposition of fine/penalty and recovery against DG Khan Cement Factory CEO Mansha and Bestway Cement Factory CEO Zameer Ahmad

The apex court on September 14 ordered an inquiry to ascertain whether lapses occurred or favouritism was shown by the concerned officers of the Industry Department during setting up of three cement industries in the Kalarkahar area during the General Pervez Musharraf era.

The court had asked Anti-Corruption Department to conduct an inquiry and submit report within a fortnight. On September 24, a five-member special committee led by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (Lahore) Regional Director Abdul Shakoor was constituted.

NAB summons Mian Mansha

The committee while submitting a report found 15 individuals responsible for extending undue favour, causing lapses in the process of issuance of NOCs and non-fulfilling the codal formalities for setting up three factories in district Chakwal.

The people named in the report included former secretary industries department Major (retd ) Fayyaz, former secretary environment Iqbal Sheikh, then director environment Ahmad Nadeem, Chakwal former DCO Azam Saleem, Chakwal former district nazim Ghulam Abbas, former tehsil nazim Hafeezur Rehman and Kalarkahar former Tehsil Nazim Peer Sajid Karooli etc.

The report said the official correspondences vide letters dated July 23, 2003, October 31, 2003, February 11, 2004, June 16, 2004, May 21, 2005 and June 19, 2006 between assistant economic adviser Javed Arshad and Chakwal district nazim and former DCO Azam Saleem are indicative of the fact that negative area was not declared in time by the district government Chakwal and Industries Department.

The DG Khan Cement Company and Bestway Cement Company were facilitated in establishing the said factories in the intervening period of correspondence from 2003 to 2008. 'Had there been a timely decision by the departments regarding declaring negative area, there would have been no question of setting up of these industries,' it said.

'The DG Khan Cement primarily acquired land measuring 1,022 kanal and 13 marlas and out of said acquired land 42 kanal and 7 marlas were leased out to Nishat Shuaiba Paper Products Company for establishment of paper sack plant which was established without approval/observing codal formalities.

'The DG Khan Cement did not provide the statement/record deliberately despite being bound during the site visit of the said factory by the Joint Inquiry Team. Afterwards the remaining 980 kanal and 6 marlas acquired land was mortgaged for loan purpose,' it added.

The committee found that as per record DG Khan Cement had to plant 11,122 trees on 5,560 acre land and Bestway Cement was required to plant 12,541 trees on 6,270 acres land.

'The said act of mineral department as well as proponents' amount to willful misconduct as they caused loss to the government in the shape of environmental pollution for which action may also be taken against the proponents,' said the report.

The committee also found that then secretary commerce Fayyaz Bashir was also found guilty to favour the setting up three factories.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, has directed the Anti-Corruption Department to initiate criminal action against responsible persons and submit progress report within 15 days.
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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Oct 16, 2018
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