Saaf Pani - a litany of Shehbaz's political nepotism: Chohan

Saaf Pani - a litany of Shehbaz's political nepotism: Chohan

LAHORE: Provincial Minister for Information and Culture Fayaz-ul-Hasan Chohan said the Punjab Saaf Pani Company was a litany of political nepotism and self-aggrandizement by former chief minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.

Addressing a press conference here, he said public money amounting to Rs 300 billion was looted through selected appointments, out of merit hiring of foreign consultants, violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, installation of a costly imported Stand-alone System, futile foreign tours of blue-eyed people and award of unlawful contracts to near-and-dear ones in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company.

The minister said Shehbaz Sharif appointed his blue-eyed persons on salary of millions of rupees to run the Saaf Pani Company. Pakistan Muslim League-N MPA Raja Qamar-ul-Islam, Mujtaba Iqbal (brother of former federal minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal), Shabnam Najaf and Najaf Iqbal (former DC Narowal who served interests of Ahsan Iqbal) and acted as the front-man of Shehbaz Sharif, and Chaudhry Munir were recruited for personal gains, he alleged.

He said businessman Asim Qadri (brother of former Punjab minister for religious affairs Zaeem Qadri) was obliged and awarded the contract to import Stand-alone System, which was 40 per cent costlier than the Cluster System. The system was bought against the advice of experts, he added.

Chohan said a foreign consultant was hired although he did not have the relevant experience. He was paid millions of rupees despite the fact that he had not worked on a single project of that nature in his home country.

He said the contract was also granted to a foreign company in violation of PPRA rules and fair competition.

He said the Saaf Pani Company was established to provide clean drinking water to the rural areas but not a single drop of it was delivered to the masses till its completion date in April 2018 and plundering of Rs 300 billion by the chief minister's loyalists. The company was set up to facilitate the people, but it only served the the blue-eyed persons and the PML-N loyalists.