Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that corruption should be rooted out in order to put the country on the road to progress and prosperity. He said that supremacy of law is utmost essential for this purpose. He said that federal government has committed record corruption during last four and a half years which has ruined the economy. He said that if the people provided an opportunity in the next elections, he will recover every penny of the looted money from the looters.
He expressed these views during an interview to a private TV channel. Replying to a question about 65 percent corruption in Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif said that Transparency International had declared Punjab most corrupt province of Pakistan in 2006 while in 2010 in its report it declared Punjab the transparent province. He said that hujjaj were looted and corruption of billions of rupees was committed in fertilizer, NICL, Rental Power Projects, Safe City, Steel Mills, Chichokimallian project and all this corruption relates to federal government and not the Punjab. He said that corruption of billions of rupees were committed in ephedrine case.
The Chief Minister said that a dacoity of eight billion rupees was committed in Punjab Bank in the name of Harris Steel Mill during previous Punjab government and Chaurdhary Pervaiz Elahi bought a sugar mill from this money. Similarly, Directors of Punjab Bank took loans of billions of rupees whereas under the law no director can get loan and in this way law was violated. He said that former Punjab government constructed Chief Minister’s House on 8-Club road with two billion rupees whereas we dropped the project of a new complex to be constructed for parliamentarians with two billion rupees and luxury apartments for ministers costing Rs. 65 crore and thus saved rupees 2.5 billion. Shahbaz Sharif said that present government launched projects like Daanish Schools for the poor and orphan children. He said that former Punjab government had made advance payments in the projects like Thokar Niaz Baig flyover and Lahore Kasur Road whereas these projects have become graveyards of corruption but we converted into minarets of development. He said that previous Punjab government prepared Lahore Mass Transit project in paper costing Rs. 230 billion and embezzled 40 crore rupees in it whereas we brought the accused from Dubai and awarded punishment. The Chief Minister said that we are completing Lahore Mass Transit project only with 30 billion rupees in a record period. He said that present Punjab government did not purchase any bullet proof vehicle or helicopter. He said that previous Punjab government had made advance payment of 2.5 million dollars in the name of Punjab Entertainment Company without any guarantee and shops were constructed in violation of High Court’s decision whereas we retrieved lands and has saved 40 to 50 crore rupees in this project.
Shahbaz Sharif said that on the basis of lowest bid, a seven years’ agreement of 428 million dollars was made regarding Punjab Solid Waste Management Company but despite this he also got reduced 108 million dollar through his personal efforts. He said that 350 buses have been imported from China and saved Rs. 30 crore in it. He said that crores of rupees were also saved in solar lamps. He said that no corruption was committed in laptops project.
The Chief Minister said although Chairman NAB is right hand of President Zardari yet he can investigate the matters of Punjab government and if corruption of a single penny is proved against him he is ready to face every kind of punishment.
Replying to a question about working with President Zardari after next elections, Shahbaz Sharif said that it is immature to say anything but if the people provided opportunity to serve them, he will follow law and the constitution. About the accusations of Imran Khan regarding iron fences in Mass Transit project, the Chief Minister said that what can be said about such person who does not know that Ittefaq foundry has been closed for the last ten years and no family member is associated with steel business.