SC reserves ruling in discretionary funds case

Published July 22, 2013
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. — File photo
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its ruling in the case relating to the doling out of billions of rupees by former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf for development projects in various constituencies under the People’s Works Program II. A total of Rs42.486 billion was released for development on the instructions of the former prime minister — Rs25bn more than his annual discretionary fund.

A three judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, reserved its ruling after today's hearing of the case pertaining to the distribution of development funds among parliamentarians under the Peoples Works Program (PWP) or the Tameer-i-Watan scheme.

The bench today directed the concerned departments to review anew development schemes launched during Ashraf's tenure.

The departments were directed to ascertain whether the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules had been followed in the disbursement of funds.

The court moreover ordered that funds be disbursed in cases where the PPRA rules were followed. It added that in instances where this condition had not been satisfied and where the allocation was not in line with public interest, funds relating to such schemes should be deposited back into the national treasury.

Moreover, the bench ruled that civil and criminal cases should be initiated against those involved in violating the rules of procedure.

Of the Rs25bn in question, Rs15bn had been diverted from the funds meant for Public Sector Development Program and vital projects like Diamer Bhasa dam and Lowari tunnel as well as schemes for education and health sectors, institutions like Higher Education Commission, savings from national savings schemes and allocation for purchase of ambulances for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a sewage scheme for Larkana.

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