ISLAMABAD: Extending its inquiry into dubious licences issued by the directorate of municipal administration (DMA), Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has sought record of outdoor advertising from Jan to Dec 2018.

In March last year, the FIA launched the inquiry into dubious licences issued by the DMA. However, now the FIA has extended the scope of the inquiry and through a letter dated Dec 31 directed the DMA to furnish complete record of the year 2018.

The letter (available with Dawn) stated that record of pole signs installed at Faisal Avenue, F-6, F-7 Jinnah Avenue, F-10 and other areas should be submitted. The investigation agency also sought record of building wraps of Centaurus Mall, Ufone tower and the Islamabad Stock Exchange.

Directorate asked to submit record of outdoor advertising for year 2018

The directorate has been asked to provide record of tri-visions and LED signs installed at the PTCL Chowk, Jinnah Avenue and other buildings.

The DMA has also been directed to provide details of bridge panels installed in the capital while a certified copy of demand and collection register maintained by the DMA since 2010 should also be provided to the agency.

The FIA also sought complete details of posting of officers to the DMA during the period.

Last year, the FIA had started the inquiry after receiving information about alleged dubious licences issued by the DMA.

Sources said several dubious contracts for outdoor advertisements were made by the DMA for many years.

Earlier, a report for 2015-16 prepared by federal auditors also showed that the DMA lost Rs40 million to post-bid changes.

The report said an agreement was signed between the DMA and a contractor in 2014 in which a Rs90 million bid was accepted for the collection of fees for fascia signboards, petrol and CNG pumps, signboards and shop building wraps installed in commercial areas for two years.

The sources said during the last a few years, the DMA also awarded several dubious contracts of bus terminals and collection of entry fee at various points.

A few years ago, the DMA also allotted green areas in various markets, including Jinnah Super, to restaurant owners.

“All these issues should also be investigated by the FIA,” said an official of the DMA who requested not to be named. The DMA has always remained a choice posting of deputationist officers.

When contacted, Director DMA Zafar Iqbal said he had assumed the charge a few months ago and maintained complete record.

“Yes, FIA has sought record and in a few days we will provide them the required record. If someone has committed wrongdoing, they should be taken to task,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2019