— Says recruitment of employees made under scrutiny
–Says govt pursuing zero tolerance policy against corruption
LAHORE: In the latest development in the Punjab companies scam, Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah on Thursday denied a private news channel’s report about his acceptance of corruption in the Punjab Saaf Paani project and threatened to take the matter to courts.
Speaking at a press conference, the minister deemed the channel’s report as defamation and denied having any reservations regarding the audit process of the companies under scrutiny. He also said that he had confidence in the reports of the auditor general.
Sanaullah said that the chief minister did not immediately contradict the news report about the companies but has constituted a committee to ascertain the facts. He further that there was no corruption at the government level and there was zero tolerance policy against corruption in the provincial administration.
The minister reiterated his stance once again about the alleged nepotism charges with regards to recruitment process of various companies in Punjab and stated that due diligence was done during hiring of all the employees and that the news channel made a highly unethical move in misquoting him on the issue.
The minister further commented that the government will issue notice to the channel that broke the baseless and concocted story about alleged irregularities in companies as audit of 42 companies out of 53 companies has been completed. He stated that the constitution of companies was needed as the job could be done through public-private partnership and the salary was decided according to market needs.
Sanaullah also said that external auditors were present in all the companies and the auditors belong to accredited institutions.
Speaking about the Bhikki power plant, the minister deemed the project with its completion period of two years, a world record. Praising the performance of the government with regards to the power plant, Sanaullah was quick to shed light on the frugality of the project and stated that Rs 73 billion have been saved after the minimum bidding of the tender.
The minister further stated that around Rs 291 billion have been saved in 14 important projects in Punjab and also commended the transparency prevalent in all departments of Punjab.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Finance Minister Ayesha Ghaus Pasha stated that the audit of 17 companies under scrutiny was complete and the auditor general’s report would only be submitted to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on demand.
The press conference was also attended Auqaf Minister Zaeem Qadri, Punjab government spokesperson Malik Ahmed Khan and other provincial officials.