ISLAMABAD, Oct 1 Taking note of land purchase by the National Insurance Company limited (NICL) at the cost almost Rs1 billion, the senators on Friday threatened to refer the case to the National Accountability Bureau if the details were not provided to them.

The observation was made by the members of the sub-committee of Senate Standing Committee on Commerce to probe into the affairs of land purchase by the NICL) at five times higher than the prevailing market rates.

The committee has been formed after the complaint that NICL has purchased 10 acres of plot at Deh Phiai, Korangi Township, Karachi, at higher price.

The plot was acquired by NICL to construct 550 apartments for its employees at the cost of Rs2 million and Rs3 million each.

NICL chairman Ayaz Niazi informed the committee that an evaluation of the deal was approved by the Pakistan Banking Association, which finalised the value of the said plot.

Senator Haroon Khan said that NICL could have checked the sale purchase transactions taking place in the same area at the time of the purchase.

“It is a simple solution to determine the price of any land instead of depending on paper work,” Senator Khan said, adding, “It is strange that nobody

Senate body takes note of shabby land deal by NICL noted that the plot was purchased at 5 times higher than the market price.”

The sub-committee chaired by Senator Seemi Siddiqui was informed that the NICL had purchased the land at Rs999 million in July 2009, but reports started to circulate about the alleged corruption in the deal, after which the Senate Standing Committee decided to form a sub-committee to probe into the affairs.

Senators Haroon and Safdar Abbasi asked questions related to the land purchase deal and asked the NICL management to provide the name of owner of the said land as the deal does not clearly show the name of real owner.

The committee members observed that the mode of payment was not clean and the sub-committee would also like to see whether the owner of land has filed his income tax return after receiving around Rs1 billion.

Senator Seemi directed NICL to bring the required information in the next meeting of the sub-committee on Oct 25, so that it could finalise its recommendations for the Senate committee.

She also directed the secretary commerce to be present in the next meeting as he has been skipping the previous meetings of the sub-committee.

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