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LAHORE: The Punjab chief secretary has conveyed all administrative secretaries to make 54 senior and junior officials under them to respond to NAB direction of depositing millions of rupees they had received as higher salaries in authorities or public companies during the Shehbaz Sharif government.

The 54 include low-income junior officials who had considered “better” salaries in public sector companies and authorities a life-time chance to get something extra for their families. They say whatever they earned was spent on their families, and the requirement to return the money to the government has ruined them.

Among the senior officials is Mr Ahad Cheema and Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry who have been arrested by NAB in corruption cases.

Ahad Cheema owes Rs51 million

A direction issued by the Implementation and Coordination Department on Wednesday asks all administrative secretaries to follow the instructions by NAB regarding the recovery of the higher salaries from the 54 officials under them who had worked in the public sector companies and other bodies.

A letter sent by NAB to the Punjab chief secretary on the basis of which the direction has been issued is also attached. This letter mentions the names of the officials and the amount outstanding against them.

The letter says that NAB had in two earlier letters in August and September requested the provincial government to disseminate orders of the Supreme Court among the officers who had volunteered to repay the excessive salaries drawn by them, requiring them to deposit the (extra) amount in the name of NAB chairman within three months from the date of court’s orders without fail.

But, the letter says, none of these officials have deposited any amount as yet, requesting the chief secretary to issue a reminder to all these officials, asking them to deposit the excessive salaries before Nov 20 as per the Supreme Court directions.

The letters say that the list of the officials has been worked out in league with the accountant general’s office.

The highest amount mentioned by NAB in the list is Rs 51.423 million shown against Mr Ahad Khan Cheema who was the first to be arrested by NAB and who is now on judicial remand. The second highest amount is Rs 28.35 million shown against Mr Waseem Ajmal who was also arrested by NAB for alleged irregularities in the Saaf Pani Company and is on judicial remand.

They are followed by Nasir Javed (Rs 20.770 million), Mr Mujahid Sher Dil (Rs 20.41 million), Mr Ali Sarfraz Hussain (Rs 19.91 million), Mr Najam Ahmed Shah (Rs 19.300 million), Mr Khalid Majeed (Rs 15,499 million), Dr Sohail Anwar (Rs 12.08 million), Mr Nabeel Javaid (Rs 11.913 million), Mr Akbar Nasir Khan (Rs 10.59 million) and Capt (retired) Muhammad Usman (Rs 9.10 million).

Others include Muhammad Ali Ammer (Rs 5.58 million), Muhammad Zulqarnain (Rs 3.912 million), Dr Nadeem Suhail (Rs 1.39 million), Jawad Ahmed Qureshi (Rs 6.316 million), Rafaqat Ali Bhangoo (Rs 8.193 million), Abdul Razzaq (Rs 9.49 million), Dr Tahir Ali Akber (Rs 6.83 million), Syed Tahir Raza Hamdani (Rs 5 million), Syeda Shabnam Najaf (Rs 6.1 million) and Ayaz Ali Khan (Rs 7.27 million).

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2018