Senate panel directs NFC to speed up embezzlement inquiry

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Industry and Production directed the National Fertilizer Corporation (NFC) to speed up the inquiry into alleged embezzlement of Rs320 million by its employees and former employees who have availed themselves of voluntary severance from employment.

The NFC officials submitted an official report on the alleged embezzlement to the Senate Committee on Industry and Production. According to the report, Rs163.776 million relates to recovery from ex-employees of NFC who were illegally appointed after availing of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) in 2007. The case was referred to the Federal Investigation Agency on September 16, 2018, and the investigation is still underway at the FIA (CCC), Lahore. After spending five precious years, the FIA did not come to a conclusion.

Similarly, Rs119.307 million relates to the accounts of NFC Residencia, alleging misappropriation of funds by Mr Muhammad Saghir Khan, ex-DGM Accounts and Finance Secretary of NFC Residencia. This case was also referred to the FIA in October 2019, and the investigation is still underway in the FIA Anti-Corruption Circle. The conclusion of this case is similar to the VRS.

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Moreover, Rs32.742 million relates to 51 acres of land at Naushahro Feroze, Sindh, purchased by three members of the NFC Sub-Campus Committee, comprising Mr Arif Ibrahim, CEO-NFC/Sr Joint Secretary, MOI&P, Professor Dr Malik Akhtar Ali Kalrou, Vice Chancellor, NFC-IET, Multan, and Mr Usman Ghani Khatri, Director, NFC-Board.

At the initial stage, the land was mutated in the name of NFC-IET, Naushahro Feroze (Sub-Campus NFC-IET), Multan. However, after the transfer of NFC-IET, Multan, to the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Islamabad, in April 2020, the land was transferred in the name of NFC, Lahore.

The official report further revealed that no recovery has been made so far. However, due process for recovery of the above-mentioned irregular payments and cancellation of apartments given to the ex-director or ex-chairman of the NFC Board shall be initiated for the approval of the competent authority.

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