NAB releases wheat crisis report, discovers theft of Rs15.8b
NAB released a report on the Sindh wheat crisis after it approved nine inquiries into the province’s nine Provisional Reserve Centres. The report says that over two years, scams have been found amounting to Rs15.85 billion.
The office said it had already recovered Rs10bn from flour mill owners and officials from the department who sponsored the scams. The recovery can be broken down into Rs2 billion in plea bargains, and Rs8 billion in the wake of inquiries from mill owners.
According to NAB, mill owners had procured Rs9.75 billion rs of wheat from the department on three-month credit, but had not paid for it even after three years.
The nine PRCs are among those in Sukkur, Nawabshah and Larkana. Wheat worth Rs5.35 billion was missing from these nine districts while wheat worth Rs74 million was also missing on its way to Karachi.
Earlier the food department understated the scam and confessed only to a Rs4 billion embezzlement.
When it looked into which mill owners owed money to the food department, NAB found officials involved in the scam.
Despite those recoveries, according to the report, a deficit of Rs5.14 billion has yet to be recovered.
The accountability watchdog’s Sukkur chapter launched the inquiry after it received a number of complaints about scams.