NAB initiates inquiry against PSQCA official allegedly involved in corruption

While the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) is yet to conduct an inquiry against officials of its attached department, Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) allegedly involved in mega corruption and financial irregularities, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated inquiry into the mater.

According to available documents, NAB Rawalpindi, through a notice, has asked MoST to provide related information, documents and record about officials allegedly involved in financial and administrative irregularities and corruption cases.

While taking notice complaints registered by employees of PSQCA against Ali Muhammad Bukhari, Deputy Director Finance of PSQCA, the NAB Rawalpindi/Islamabad has asked the ministry to provide details required to initiate the inquiry.

The complainants had requested NAB to conduct inquiry and forensic audit of accounts of PSQCA as they suspect suspicious transaction and financial embezzlement worth over a billion Rupees in the government institution.

Following audit reports of Auditor General of Pakistan about the massive financial irregularities and illegal appointments at the PSQCA, the MoST had earlier constituted a committee to probe into the matter. The committee comprising of MoST Chief Finance and Accounts Officer Shazad Naim and Assistant Accounts Officer (F&A) Adeel Ahmad, was constituted for conducting an inquiry regarding financial and administrative mismanagement allegedly committed by Ali Muhammad Bukhari.

Apart from the financial irregularities, Bukhari was also alleged to get his two sisters, one brother and one niece appointed in the PSQCA. Besides, the committee was also supposed to investigate the authenticity of the degrees of his relatives hired in PSQCA as well as alleged financial and administrative mismanagement of Bukhari himself.

As per available documents, Bukhari has made over 55 suspicious transactions worth millions of rupees from 2014 to 2017 from various accounts of NBP, for reportedly PSQCA Investment purpose. The transactions were suspicious and made in cash mode which is itself against the GFR rules and violation of government directives.

Apart from the suspicious transactions, Bukhari, who served in the finance department of PSQCA from 2008 to 2022, was also alleged in financial irregularities regarding reinvestment worth billions of rupees in various branches of NBP in term deposit receipts (TDRs).

Interestingly, Bukhari, despite being a government official, is chief editor of a daily (Urdu) based in Karachi and also holds the position of chairman of Bukhari Welfare Organization.

According to insiders, though the said official has been sent on forced leave for second time but he has still not handed over the official records and information to his subordinates despite the fact that the Deputy Director (Finance)/Ex-DDO /custodian of all Investment Fund and record, Finance Wing, PSQCA, has been serving the government organization as a Drawing and Disbursing Officer from January 1, 2008 to February 28, 2022.

As per insiders, the said official is being protected by high officials of the ministry and PSQCA (both existing and retired) as they are all allegedly beneficiaries of embezzlement done by the official (Bukhari).

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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