FIA unearths Rs 714 million embezzlement in TPP


In a major development, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has discovered misappropriation of funds worth Rs 714 million in the first phase of the ‘Tawana Pakistan Project’ (TPP). The Special Investigation Unit of FIA has also demanded complete expenditure details from Pakistan Baitul Mal (PBM) of the first TPP phase from September 2002 to June 2005. A source told Pakistan Today that FIA also asked PBM to provide details about Rs 1.247 billion earned. “The PBM was also asked to provide detail of allowances of Ministry of Social Welfare former secretary Preveen Qader Agha, former PBM managing director Muhammad Sarfraz, PBM Director Iftikhar Ahmad and the names and designations of the officers posted in the TPP cell,” he said.
The source said the TPP started in September 2002 and PBM was one of the implementation partners of the project. In September 2002, the government transferred Rs 1.247 billion to PBM for the implementation of the project to address poor nutritional status and school enrolment of primary school-aged girls. “The core strategy was to create an environment for empowering village women to take collective decisions,” he said. It is learnt that during the first phase of the TPP federal minister for Women Development, Social Welfare and Special Education was Dr Attiya Inayatullah. Later former federal minister for Social Welfare and Special Education Zubaida Jalal suspended the operation of the project in June 2005 and directed PBM to hand over the TPP project to the Ministry of Social Welfare director general Irfan Ullah. The PBM only transferred Rs 571 million to Social Welfare ministry while showing no record of the remaining amount of Rs 671 million.
The source said that PBM was working as an implementation partner with TTP for the provision of fresh cooked meals to schoolchildren. Rs 1.247 billion were given to PBM for the provision of fresh food for 31 high poverty districts on daily basis. Similarly, it was also assigned the task to provide micro nutrients for these areas twice a week. He also said the FIA had completed the major part of the investigation of the second phase of the TPP project and had transferred it to the National Accountability Bureau on the directives of the Public Accounts Committee.