Lahore: Following the astonishing disclosure of Rs 250 million bungling in the construction of FPCCI Capital Office, the government has stopped funding of the Apex chamber and ordered an investigation.
After getting evidence of corruption from former vice president of FPCCI Mirza Abdul Rehman, the Federal Secretary Commerce has barred TDAP from releasing Rs 50 million approved for FPCCI and directed its Chief Executive SM Muneer to launch an investigation and report the facts. Muneer has formed an investigation committee but its impartiality is questionable as the incumbent president of the FPCCI Zakria Usman is a member of the said committee despite being a party to the matter.
Mirza Abdul Rehman has also provided evidence to the National Accountability Bureau which has launched a separate investigation into the issue. The applications forwarded by the former VP FPCCI say that Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President of the Saarc chamber and Co-Chairman Businessman Panel of the FPCCI has remained Chairman of the FPCCI’s Building Committee since 2005.
To oblige the near and dear ones Mr. Malik gave contracts of consultancy and architecture to a relative Zaheer A Sheikh while contract for construction the building was awarded to his another kin Akbar Sheikh.
Mr. Zaheer was paid Rs 13.5 million illegally, mostly in advance, who designed a 12-storey building violating CDA laws while substandard material was used for construction which resulted in Rs 30 million in repairs and remoulding after construction.
Surprisingly, architect, consultant or contractor were never fined or asked for a clarification, rather they continued to get payments from the FPCCI.
Moreover, Mirza Abdul Rehman said in his application that contract for air-conditioning was given to the highest bidder prompting legal action by another company which was ready to do the same job for Rs 3.5 million lesser price.
Despite the massive plunder no one was held responsible instead the leaders of Businessman Panel of the FPCCI awarded VP of the Saarc Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik by appointing him as chairman of the Saarc Chamber building committee, he said.
Besides, Mr. Malik was selected to remain VP of the Saarc chamber of next two years, a position he continue to enjoy since last four years.
The contract, design and consultancy etc. for the Saarc building is being awarded to the same people who were responsible for the mess in the construction of FPCCI Islamabad building, alleged Mirza Abdul Rehman.
When contacted, deputy secretary FPCCI Capital Office said that construction was supervised by elected representatives and all the payments were done by the headoffice and that the staff has nothing to do with the affair.