PKLI was not approved by ECNEC, SC told


–ACE report claims hospital has 448 beds instead of 1,050

–Holds PKLI CEO Saeed Akhtar responsible for irregular appointments in institute

— Recommends legal action against management, NESPAK, IDAP officials


The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) on Monday told the Supreme Court (SC) that the allocation of funds for the construction of the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) was not approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).

This happened as the top court heard a suo motu case pertaining to irregularities in appointments and misappropriation of funds at the institute.

In August 2018, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar had taken notice of the appointment of incarcerated former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and others on the board of governors of PKLI.

The court’s commission had then told the top judge that misappropriation of funds and misuse of power had been found at the institute. The project, which was to be completed by December 2017, was still in progress. The originally approved cost of the project, Rs12.7bn, had risen to over Rs53bn with the passage of time, he had said.

He had also questioned the then CM’s authority to appropriate funds for private companies, as well as the appointment of a junior officer as the chief executive officer of Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab (IDAP).

During the hearing, in a report submitted to the court, the ACE recommended that legal action needed to be taken against officials of PKLI, the Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab and engineering firms.

The report stated that any project valued over Rs10 billion needed to be approved by ECNEC, however, this was not done in the case of PKLI, as a total Rs22 billion had been spent on the project to date. The report added that the project was scheduled to complete by 2017, but it is still under construction owing to authorities’ negligence. This delay is causing a loss of millions of rupees every day, it pointed out.

Further, it revealed that the hospital should have accommodated 1,050 beds, but the present building only holds 448 beds. It alleged that there were some irregularities in the purchase of IT equipment for PKLI as well.

Identifying Dr Saeed Akhtar as a facilitator for the appointment of unqualified staff as well as foreign nurses, the report claimed that the management had also issued fake medical reports.

Then, the report suggested that a case is registered against the PKLI contractor, and that appropriate legal action is taken against IDAP officials and consultant companies National Engineering Services Pakistan (Nespak) and Moyang.