Punjab companies scam: Shehbaz Sharif fails to satisfy Supreme Court

Punjab companies scam: Shehbaz Sharif fails to satisfy Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on Sunday heard suo motu case of financial irregularities in the launch of 56 government companies.

The Chief Justice, who was heading a two-judge bench at Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry, sought details of properties owned by CEOs of all the companies.

Advocate General Punjab told the bench that Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has nothing to do with the recruitments in the companies.

The CJP ordered Shehbaz Sharif to appear before the court to clarify his position regarding appointments of heads of the companies on hefty salaries.

Shehbaz Sharif turned up at the court.

The CJ asked him why public-sector officials were paid Rs1 million when their salaries were Rs.100,000.

Sharif responded that he has also saved a lot of money in other heads. Sharif claimed to have saved Rs160 billion in different power projects. “The reason this courtroom is so cool is because of these power projects,” he said.

The CJ said he was not asking him about those projects. Instead, he said, he was asking about the public-sector officials’ salaries alone.

Sharif responded that the matter had nothing to do with him as the finance department had issued a notification regarding those salaries.

The CJP said you outsourced everything, has the government lost its control?

At which Shehbaz said he was not being given due credit for saving Rs160 billion. “I have worked a lot and even gave my blood for this country but I’m not being appreciated,” said Sharif.

He said he worked for the province for 10 years and bore the expenses of the private jet he used.

Sharif admitted that funds were wasted in clean water projects. However, he said, he saved Rs70 billion in the same project.

The CJ said he was dissatisfied with the chief minister’s replies. Sharif replied that he said what he had, and angrily left the rostrum.

The CJ said that all those salaries paid to the bigwigs will be recovered.

Earlier, another two member bench, CJP Saqib Nisar heard Pakistan Liver and Kidney Transplant Institute’ (PKLI) financial irregularities case.

The Chief Justice expressed anger over spending of a huge amount of Rs20b on construction of the institute building.

He said illegal appointments were made for this institute on hefty salaries.

He restricted the head of Institute, Dr. Saeed Akhtar, from going abroad without court’s permission.

The chief justice ordered forensic audit of expenditures on the institute’s building and sought a report within three weeks.