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PSM accused of selling products to dealers facing notices from NAB




  • Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) has been accused of selling its products to those who had been issued recovery notices by the NAB. When the Supreme Court took a suo motu notice of corruption in PSM, total financial loss was about Rs 21 billion which has now touched Rs 88 billion. PSM”s loans have escalated to Rs 95 billion. The Mill is inflicting Rs 3 million per day loss which is Rs 2 billion in one month. 

    The Supreme Court of Pakistan through its order of May 16, 2012 had directed NAB to probe the matter and submit fortnightly progress reports. NAB has submitted more than two dozen progress reports to the apex court. According to NAB, investigation of the cases is being conducted thoroughly in a professional manner taking into consideration all the relevant facts, documents available as well as observations made by forensic auditors on each and every aspect of the case. Assistance of forensic auditor is also sought whenever necessary to reach a just and equitable conclusion. Ironically PSM management has already rejected the forensic report. 

    NAB has issued notices to 350 out of a total of 749 dealers of PSM for voluntary return under section 25 of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999. Notices are being issued to remaining customers also. Some of the dealers claim that they are being treated at par with those dealers who were engaged in corruption with the connivance of management. NAB argues that after further investigation into the allegations of procurement of raw material ie Met Coke and Coal by PSM at higher prices than the prevailing international prices the Investigation Officer had submitted his report recommending filing of references. 

    The cases were discussed in the Executive Board meeting of NAB Sindh and it has been decided that Deputy Prosecutor General Accountability NAB Sindh will examine the cases to ascertain sufficient incriminating evidence to stand the test of trial before sending the cases to the Chairman for a decision. The cases are accordingly being examined. 

    Similarly, the investigation officer has also completed investigation regarding the procurement of coal under long term agreement from five foreign suppliers as well as payment of afreightment paid for such procurements during the year 2008-2009. The investigation report is under examination with Prosecution Wing NAB Sindh for legal scrutiny. 

    As reported earlier, on the basis of report of forensic auditor, the investigation officer had submitted his report regarding procurement of iron ore allegedly at higher than the prevailing international market rates. During legal scrutiny by the legal consultant it has come on record that before procurement, the matter was discussed at length by the concerned officers of PSM and the then Deputy General Manager/Incharge (Law), PSM had maintained that there was no clause in the agreement with the Foreign Supplier for price adjustment and world economic recession did not allow PSM to back out from the legal contract. On the basis of the said opinion, the then Chairman PSM allowed to open an LC. In view of this fact further inquiry is being conducted to ascertain any criminality in respect of the said procurement. 

    Details of sale of various products by PSM during the year 2008-09 have been obtained and selling rates of PSM compared with prevailing actual import clearance/ local selling rates in the relevant period. NAB further stated that financial impact in respect of all such transactions as well as individual liability in respect of each consumer/ dealer has been determined. 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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