LAHORE, Dec 24: The National Accountability Bureau, Punjab, has sought the record of the multi-billion Metro Bus Service (MBS) project from the provincial government to ‘assess its transparency.’
The Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid had raised questions about the transparency of the project. Both the parties earlier had requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan to look into the matter as the budget of other departments was being diverted to it.
Opposition Leader Raja Riaz has also alleged “massive corruption” committed by the PML-N members.
The PML-N government claims that it is a Rs30 billion worth of project while the opposition says the project will cost the exchequer over Rs70 billion.
The NAB has written to the C&W secretary and the Lahore Development Authority director general seeking complete record of the MBS project forthwith. “Yes, we have sought the MBS project’s PC-1, pre-qualification, tender, contract agreements and technical and financial bids from the Punjab government under Section 33 (B) of the National Accountability Ordinance,” NAB Punjab spokesman Attiqur Rehman told Dawn on Monday.
Mr Rehman said the NAB Contract Evaluation Cell would thoroughly examine the project matters. “In fact it (MBS) is a multi-project and under the law the bureau is supposed to examine all the projects involving an amount of Rs50 million and above,” he said.
To a question as to why NAB feels the need to examine this project at the stage when it is near completion, the NAB spokesman replied: “We had written to the Punjab chief secretary early this year when the Punjab government kicked off this mega project but he did not provide any details of it to the NAB.”
LDA DG Ahad Cheema told Dawn that there had been no issue in providing the project details to NAB. “We had open bidding. A complete transparency has been ensured and NAB is welcome to examine it,” he said.
To a question about not providing the contract details of the project to the NAB despite its request, Mr Cheema said it was not in his knowledge.