ISLAMABAD: Federal Secretary Ministry of production and Industry has assured senate standing committee on Wednesday that Rs. 7.5 billion misappropriations into pension funds of Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM) employees has been sent to National Accountability Bureau NAB for investigation.
The committee was informed that gang comprising of senior officers including former Chairman PSM Aftab Moeen Shaikh, Abdul Aziz Memon, Muhammad Mansoor, Sharif Awan, Sameen Asghar and Absar Nabi misused Rs 7.5 billion from pension fund resulting in the poor employees are left in the lurch as they could not get after retirement benefits.
The committee also directed the ministry production to approach ministry of finance and arrange the said amount in order to pay the poor employees who has been reached their superannuation as the government is legally bound to disburse gratuity and provident funds.
Senate Standing committee met here in the parliament house with Senator Hidayatullah in the chair to discuss the financial embezzlement of Pakistan Steel Mill and Utility Stores Corporation which are public corporations and running into losses.
The committee was informed that former administration of Pakistan Steel Mills misused Rs 3.61billin from graduity funds and Rs 3.92billion from provident funds that exclusively belong to the employees but the former administration spent it on various unproductive projects leaving the treasure of the mill dried.
The secretary admitted before the committee that it was an illegal act committed by former administration that must be probed to reach at the bottom of this scam.
Senator Mian Attique committee member proposed to the chairman that the task to monitor the NAB investigation could not be assigned to the ministry keeping in view that the officer would save their colleagues and said the standing committee should write Chairman NAB with the request to inquire the matter on priority basis and lodged the reference to the court against the accused of the case.
Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation also briefed the committee about the performance, procurement of essential commodity , future plans and corruption cases pending against the officers and said that USC has been incurring Rs. 14 Million loss per day.
He said that government has reduced subsidy to the USC resulting in the corporation is suffering from huge financial straits and called for revolutionaries steps to steer the corporation from the its sink.
He informed that committee that USC has 5327 stores across the country providing essential commodity to the public on lower rates but due the reduction in subsidy from the government it would be difficult for the administration to keep it floating.
He said that last years sale was Rs. 64 billion including Rs 4.30 billion subsidy the government disbursed and added that corporation is paying Rs 1.20 billion as taxes to national kitty.
Federal secretary ministry of production asked the committee that recommendation to the government should be sent with the request that Utility Stores Corporation must be exempted from tax as it is government NGO working for the welfare of the poor masses.
It was also revealed in the committee that Nawaz Sharif Government cut down subsidy from Rs 18 billion annually to 4.5billionwhich adversely affected its affairs and said that government should review its decision to revive it and make it profit earning department.
Senator Mian Attique who slammed the administration for turning USC from profit earning institution into incurring financial loss due to mismanagement and corruption and called for the commercial audit of its financial affairs to indentify the real culprits behind its disaster.
Senator Mian Attique revealed in the meeting that some senior officer who had served in USC are now buying their own aero plane and now settled in USA after looting it horrendously.
Managing Director USC informed that committee that 126 corruption cases have been filed against the officers of USC including its former MD and GMS who had allegedly misappropriated more than Rs. 778 million and added some accuseds are still holding post in the USC.
Managing Director further told that working capital of usc has decline from Rs. 640 million to Rs. 130 million as the financial resources of the corporation has been shrinking as some government departments also kept hold Rs 366 million and are unlikely to payback.
He said that the whole record of the corporation is being computerized with the cost of Rs 60million and new USC security company is going to established to secure its stores across the country where more than 400 armed men would be employed.