STDC MD accused of corruption amid breach of procurement rules

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KARACHI: The Sindh Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) Managing Director Roshan Ali Kanasro, who is currently holding additional charge of this very important post, has been accused of procuring specific items worth Rs130 million without the mandatory approval of relevant officers of the corporation, it was learnt on Thursday.

The sources told Pakistan Today that Sindh government had given an additional charge of STDC MD to Kanasro in March 2015 in addition to his posting as Directorate of Planning and Development Works, Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Department’s director.

According to the sources, the office of the STDC MD has utilised budget/grant of Rs130 million for the Fiscal Year 2017-18 without informing or taking consent of senior officers of the corporation.

“The advertisements worth Rs25 million were published in dummy newspapers namely, Daily Sada-e-Sindh, Daily Sindh Special and the National Status which is a sheer violation of Rule 17(2) of Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) established in 2010 and amended in 2013”, sources added.

These funds were meant for procuring furniture and fixture, purchase of machinery and equipment, purchase of hardware and software, purchase, hiring and repairing of vehicles, promotion material including video graphic, advertisement, printing and publication, seminars, festivals, exhibitions, stalls, tours, trips, music, repair of machinery and equipment and etc, sources added.

Most tellingly, the documents related to the bidding before the procurement were allegedly drafted out of the office STDC MD and the publication showed that the same was published in dummy newspapers, sources said, adding that the notice inviting tenders (NITs) were not prepared in the corporation’s office on that advertised date. It was also noticed that the number that was provided in the publications was not in anyone’s use, which has raised further eyebrows.

The sources further stated that under SPRRA Rules of 2010, the senior officer of grade 18 of STDC’s procurement committee was to be notified for grievances/redress before drafting of bidding and NIT documents with items specification including rates, quality, quantity and others.

When contacted, STDC General Manager (Publicity & Promotion) Murtaza Daudpoto told Pakistan Today that no items have yet been procured or delivered to him.

“The transparency of official business, budget/grant, expenditure and procurement is the focus of higher public forums so that the utilisation of funds from the public exchequer for the development of tourism, increase of touristic activities, publicity and revenue generation can be enhanced to benefit not only the province but the entire country”, he said.

Pakistan Today repeatedly tried to seek the official version of STDC’s MD, however, no response has so far been received due to the foreign tours of MD with his family.