Another scam: Is Punjab Govt part and parcel of the corrupt mafia?
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2015-11-16 01:14:39

Another scam: Is Punjab Govt part and parcel of the corrupt mafia?

investigationThe Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has unearthed a mega corruption scam in Punjab, where 946 acres of land worth Rs 5 billion owned by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) were silently transferred to private individuals by officials of the provincial revenue department. The FIA’s Lahore zone has dug up the scandal under its Director Dr Usman Anwer. Usman yesterday told a high level committee held at the Ministry of Interior that the issue was also brought into the notice of the Punjab chief minister and then District Coordination Officer (DCO) and other officials of the revenue department at district Okara were suspended. The prime land was located in Deepular area of district Okara and FIA has helped ETPB to transfer the land back to its name.
The investigations of the case are under way with the help of an intelligence agency. According to details, revenue department officials including then DCO Okara had allegedly transferred 946 acres of ETPB to some private persons while making the wrong interpretation of the Supreme Court order.The land was being illegally transferred since 1952. The director FIA Punjab also told the meeting that 238 kanals of land worth 4 billion illegally given to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Lahore, had also been returned. It is not just the civilian bureaucracy that is corrupt and exploitative. In September, the Supreme Court was informed that the Eden Life Housing Scheme in Lahore was a total fraud. DHA was again involved; the chief executive of this housing scheme, Hammad Arshad, has taken a loan of Rs800 million from Faisal Bank against this land and already sold 1,248 kanals to DHA.The fact of the matter is that the whole setup of governance since the 1950s has been about the creation of extractive institutions. Many of the “mega corruption” scandals we have been seeing are part and parcel this. The land mafia is king, whether in Sindh or Punjab and it has deep roots in all the major political parties. However, because these scams are so old and so big, just a little bit of digging is bringing out all the hidden bones.The problem is widespread. In Lahore, there is a well-connected land mafia that keeps its eyes on uninhabited plots and buildings in prime areas and moves in with fake ID cards to take possession, leaving the real owners (often living abroad) to then pursue the case in the courts for years. In light of such revelations, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar is highly irked by the high rate of bails in under-trial mega corruption cases.

pk.shafaqna.com

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