Islamabad: 4 firms blacklisted; NAB to recover Rs840m
ISLAMABAD: After an inquiry into seven projects undertaken by PHA under Prime Minister Housing Programme, Minister for Housing and Works Faisal Saleh Hayat has taken notice of the cost overrun and other wrong practices. The minister has blacklisted almost four companies, besides disciplinary action has been ordered against number of ministry’s officials after inquiry report. Meanwhile the case is also being forwarded to NAB for the recovery of Rs 840 million.
The inquiry was conducted by Sikandar Hayat Maken, Project Director PMC of Ministry of Housing & Works. In the inquiry, seven projects were probed by the inquiry officer which include Construction of C-type apartments at G-11/3, Islamabad, construction of E-type apartments at G-11/3, Islamabad, infrastructure work of C & E type apartments at G-11/3, Islamabad, construction of D-type apartments at G-10/2, Islamabad, construction of D-type apartments at Wafaqi Colony, Lahore, construction of E-type apartments at Wafaqi Colony, Lahore and construction of shops near UET, Lahore.
The initial overall contract cost was Rs 1949.99 million whereas the completion cost of seven projects was assessed as Rs 2793.199 million. The difference as Rs 843.209 million which is 43 per cent above the original cost of the project. While the engineering estimates given by the consultants are to the tune of 1101.8 million which is 65 per cent above the estimated cost.
Contracts were awarded without proper scrutiny and verification of rates prevailing in the market. Further, the estimates were not prepared according to the site conditions as no soil investigations was carried out. This led to changes in the foundation design and subsequent rise in the cost. On top of that the contractors are demanding further escalation which may cause a huge loss to the National Exchequer. Award of contracts was also not transparent and only 4-5 companies were allowed to participate in the competition. The price escalation and change in design of the project has ultimately led to delay in the completion of the project by almost 2 years.
The inquiry officer has recommended that the contractors shall complete the remaining work within the amount of contract without asking for further escalation, as the cost is already 43% above the original estimation. Recovery of the embezzled amount shall be made from the concerned officer/ contractors. The inquiry officer has proposed to take strict disciplinary proceedings against the officers of Technical and Finance Wing of Pakistan Housing Authority Foundation.
The Ministry of Housing & Works has initiated disciplinary action against all those officers pointed out by the inquiry officer which include Officers Ajmal Saeed, Assistant Director (Finance), PHA Foundation, SM Zohair Khalid, Director General (CPM) now Superintending Engineer, Pak PWD, Athar Nawaz Malik, Director General (CPM), now Director (Engineering), NCL and Javed Iqbal Malik, Deputy Director (CPM), PHA Foundation have been suspended. Muhammad Hasnain, Manager/DGM (CPM), PHA Foundation has been repatriated to his parent department, Govt of Punjab. Naseem Akhtar, Director (Maintenance), CDA (on deputation), the CDA has been asked for her repatriation for disciplinary proceedings by the Ministry of Housing & Works.
According to the press statement issued from the Ministry of Housing and Works, the companies including M/s Abdul Majeed & Company, M/s Iftikhar & Company, M/s Techno International, M/s Toor Trading & Company involve in the execution of work were found guilty and has been declared black listed.
Further an Inquiry Committee has been constituted to look into the implementation of the points raised in the report submitted by the inquiry officer so as to make possible the early implementation of the seven projects/schemes.
Matter which has serious implications regarding transparency, blatant violations of rules including PPRA and huge loss caused to the National Exchequer amounting to over 84 crore rupees, this case is being referred to NAB, for recovery of the above mentioned amount and prosecution of all those involved in this fraudulent exercise.
The Project Management Cell (PMC) has also taken notice of the malpractices in the execution of developmental works carried out by Pak PWD in Sialkot, Bahawalpur and Faisalabad. On the recommendation of the PMC Report, officers including Executive Engineer Sialkot Muhammad Rashid, Assistant Executive Engineer M Irshad–ul–Hassan Bahawalpur and Assistant Executive Engineer Faisalabad Pervez Iqbal Mehmood have been suspended and enquiry has been ordered.