‘Blue-eyed boys’ cost Punjab Rs2b loss

ISLAMABAD:Relevant rules and regulations were blatantly violated in Punjab for accommodating ‘blue-eyed boys’ by doling out tractors under ‘Green Tractor Scheme’, causing a loss of Rs2 billion to the national kitty.According to the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) report on the accounts of the Punjab government for the year 2009-10, available with APP, the Agriculture Department initiated the project during financial year 2008-09 to provide tractors to the farming community on subsidised rates. Under the plan, approved by Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Rs2,000 million were sanctioned and released through supplementary grant in the year 2008-9 vide letter Nos SO (B&A) 9-2/2008 dated October 15, 2008 and February 21, 2009, to purchase 10,000 tractors. The chief minister approved the summary, including the eligibility and criteria for allotment of tractors, on November 11, 2008. However, the Punjab government in allotment of tractors conducted gross violations.

Out of the 94 tractors allotted in District Lahore, 31 applications were not scrutinised at all as no meeting of the scrutiny committee was ever held to ascertain credentials of the applicants as per clauses I-IV and I-V defined in criteria instructions. No Objection Certificates (NOCs) were also not obtained from the Zarai Taraqiyati Bank Limited (ZTBL) in all the 94 cases. Moreover, in 63 cases, persons other than mentioned in the chief minister’s summary (para No 85) were included. DDO(R) Lahore did not close the application register with his signature as per clause I-IV and I-V of the instructions.
In 241 cases of District Multan, the allotment list was signed only by DCO instead of the committee designated vide para 85(b) of the CM’s summary. In 21 cases, Tehsil Sharaqpur (District Sheikhupura) produced no record, which was also stated to have been lost – leaving a huge question mark on the performance and commitment of the government, suggesting that entire process was `fabricated’ – Nation