Pakistan Corruption Report

Rs. 83 Billion loss caused to exchequer, says NAB

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has submitted to the Justice Bhagwandas Commission a report on the wrongdoings it says have been committed by the government functionaries and oil industry people in the pricing of petroleum products causing a loss of Rs83 billion to the nation over a period of five years.

The Supreme Court constituted a few months ago the high-level commission led by former SC judge Justice Rana Bhagwandas to hold a probe into the fixing of oil prices and to suggest measures to plug loopholes in the pricing mechanism to ensure fair prices of petroleum products to consumers.

The apex court had taken serious notice of the petroleum ministry’s non-cooperation and instructed the government to provide all information to the commission so that it might reach a judgment.

The NAB report that covered petroleum pricing mechanism between June 2001 and June 2006 was originally submitted to the then president Gen Pervez Musharraf and prime minister Shaukat Aziz on June 13, 2006 by the then NAB chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz.

The report was never made public but the NAB chairman was removed unceremoniously shortly after it was submitted to the presidency and the prime minister.

The NAB report has now been provided to the Justice Bhagwandas Commission which is expected to submit its final report to the apex court by June 30.

According to a former deputy chairman of NAB, Maj-Gen Muhammad Siddique, senior management of “Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO) and others are involved in massive misappropriation/misuse of authority and forgery in the import of HSD (high speed diesel) and its subsequent sale in the country and … committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices” as defined in relevant laws.

The report prepared by a three-member investigation team and exclusively available with Dawn concluded that “it is sufficiently evident that (functionaries in the) ministry of petroleum in collusion with the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC), oil industry and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have engaged themselves in corrupt practices for generating colossal undue financial gains for refineries and OMCs at the cost of public and economy as a whole”.

It said the federal cabinet in June 2001 entrusted the role of oil price fixation to OCAC under monitoring by the director-general of oil but none of the directors-general performed the task of monitoring and some of them even expressed ignorance about the cabinet decision. The entire price fixation by OCAC “remained non-transparent/dubious and the DG Oil/Ministry did not play any role, violating the cabinet decision”.

As a result of faulty policies, the profits of Shell Pakistan, Caltex and PSO increased by 232 per cent, 281 per cent and 252 per cent between 2001 and 2004-05. Likewise, the profits of Attock Refinery, National Refinery, Pak Refinery and Parco jumped by 4331 per cent, 3578 per cent, 1717 per cent and 597 per cent, respectively, between 2001-02 and 2004-05.

The report said that a loss of over Rs11 billion was caused to the exchequer because of a redundant oil pricing formula for petrol (motor spirit) while another Rs34 billion loss was caused due to wrongful addition of premiums on the import parity prices of petrol and high speed diesel between July 2001 and April 2006.

Likewise, the report pointed out that the petroleum ministry failed to cap the distribution margins of the OMCs and dealers when the petroleum prices touched the roof and provided a benefit of Rs9 billion to the OMCs and dealers between December 2004 and May 2006.

“The ministry despite having assured the ECC in the summary of capping the margins, failed to cap OMCs’/dealers’ margins resulting in their exorbitant profit margins,” the report said.

It calculated a financial impact of more than Rs18 billion that was `erroneously’ earned by the oil marketing companies and dealers in five years because the OCAC charged commissions even on government taxes, particularly on 15 per cent GST, that was clearly in violation of laws.

The report said that a loss of another Rs6 billion was caused to the government by “illegal removal of 40 per cent upper cap of profits” to the refineries, making a total loss of Rs82.90 billion.

It said under the federal cabinet decision, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) was established in March 2002, requiring the government to immediately transfer monitoring and regulatory function of petroleum prices to Ogra. However, the transfer of regulatory role to Ogra “was delayed by the ministry for more than four years. The gas regulation and licensing function were transferred to Ogra, but POL pricing was withheld for four years”.

Similarly, “the deemed duty in the guise of tariff protection was allowed to refineries without seeking specific legal approval/issuance of SRO”. —By special arrangement.

June 25, 2009

Courtesy: Dawn, ISLAMABAD, & Pakistan Corruption Reporter

Source- http://corruption-reporter.blogspot.com/2009/06/rs-83-billion-loss-caused-to-exchequer.html

Homocysteine and heart attack

Most of amino acids are friendly but the  researcher found homocysteine as major culprit of increased risk of heart attack. Homocysteine trigger blood clots and other substance that block the arteries. But the treatment of elevated homocysteine is easy. Just consuming adequate amounts of the B vitamins- espacially Vitamin B6, B12 and Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) efficiently lowers the amount of homocysteine in the blood. The combination of folic acid 400 mcg with vitamin B6, B12 with mix green leafy veggies are good treatment of elevated homocysteine and it will keep you away from heart attack and other heart problems.

Farah Pandith Made Kashmiri People Proud with her Achievement: Dr. Fai

Washington, DC, June 27th, 2009. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center, lavished praise on Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton for her prudent decision in honoring a Kashmiri American, Farah Pandith, as the United States Representative to the Muslim World. Dr. Fai stated ‘Farah Pandith comes from a deeply respected family and her grandfather was known as an honorable businessman in the Valley of Kashmir. We wholeheartedly congratulate her on this achievement and are confident she will brilliantly fulfill her responsibilities.’

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A case for Seraiki province

by: MANZOOR CHANDIO, Karachi, SINDH

Courtesy: daily dawn, Saturday, 27 Jun, 2009

THIS refers to Maria Malik’s letter, “Restoration of Bahawalpur’s status” (June 20) written in response to Ayesha Siddiqa’s article, “South Punjab ‘movement’” (June 12).

Defending former minister Mohammed Ali Durrani’s demand for restoration of the state, she sabotages a case for Seraiki province. She also wrongly claims that there is a popular demand for the restoration of Bahawalpur state. People with myopic view of history like Mr Durrani and Ms Malik have always raised the issue of Bahawalpur whenever movement for a Seraiki province gains momentum. We should keep in mind that Seraiki, one of the representative languages of the Indus Valley civilization, besides Sindhi and Punjabi, is the country’s largest spoken language. Seraikis are concentrated in South Punjab and Dera Ismail Khan division of the NWFP — their historical abode from time immemorial. The area has been a separate administrative region for centuries and has a separate cultural and linguistic identity from other areas. Unfortunately, the Seraiki belt has been severally neglected in the past 62 years and no significant development work has been done for the uplift of people and to preserve their language and culture.

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Michael Jackson was a great POP singer, entertainer and dancer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

…In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as “Beat It”, “Billie Jean” and “Thriller”—widely credited with transforming the music video from a promotional tool into an art form—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.

Jackson donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundations, charity singles, and support of 39 charities. Other aspects of his personal life, including his often changing appearances and eccentric behavior, generated significant controversy which damaged his public image….

To read more about Michael Jackson, Click here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson

Fast facts

Diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure. It is a leading cause of death all over the world. If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can result in a variety of complications, including: Heart disease, Kidney disease, Eye disease, Problems with erection (impotence) and nerve damage.

Shahryar and Scherzadi

A Persian King, Shahryar, who rules the country, an island, between India and China, discovers that his wife and her lover are plotting to kill him- his wife is not just faithless, she is also guilty of treason, he executed her and her lover, and thereafter believes faithlessness of women. Shahryar instructs his Vazir-e-Azam to find him a new wife every day. After spending the night with the wife, he executed her. This practice continues until the Vazir-e-Azam’s beautiful but genious daughter Scheherzadi devises a scheme to outwit the king and, in doing so, stop the killings. She herself offers to become Shahryar’s next wife, and is accepted. Every night, in their marriage chambers, Scheherzadi tell shahryar stories, but she is careful to stop at dawn before ending the story- and she stops with a cliffhanger- the king spares her life so the following night he can hear the rest of the story. Having finished one story halfway through the evening she starts another- until many years have passed, she has given birth of three sons of Shahryar. Then she convinced Shahryar him that she loves him, he revokes his decree, at her request pardons her.

What Is AMD? KNOW your RISK? Save your sight.

AMD stands for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. It is a progressive disease associated with aging that gradually destroys central vision and impairs ability to perform common daily tasks such as reading, driving or watching television. Central vision is controlled by a small but important part of your eye called the macula. The macula is what allows you to see fine details straight ahead of you. When your macula becomes affected, you are left with dim images or black holes in the centre of your vision. AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 50.

A must read column- Futile resistance

manzoorejzWASHINGTON DIARY: Futile resistance

by Dr Manzur Ejaz, USA

Courtesy: Wichaar.com, June 23rd, 2009

After eight years of Bush, the Republican Party’s rout at the polls showed that reactionary forces against rising trends can only go so far. And the Evangelicals had ended up facilitating the election of a black man as President of the United States.

Continue reading A must read column- Futile resistance

What Causes Angina?

When heart doesn’t get as much blood as it needs, the result can be chest pain. Pain in the chest- called angina. The symptoms of angina can be similar to the symptoms of a heart attack.  If you think you may be having a heart attack, seek emergency medical help immediately. Angina is caused by a reduced flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. This can happen when one or more of the arteries that go to heart become damaged, narrowed, or blocked. The most common reason is a results from a buid-up of fatty deposits that block the flow of blood through the coronary arteries.

‘Stupid’, it’s the local dynamics that matter most…

By Sahar Gul

Courtesy: Airra

At this crucial time when there is need of uniting nation around the single national interest of providing relief to the IDPs and successfully annihilating the Taliban in the Malakand division and restoring peace in the region, the discourse by some people to equate Taliban with the Pashtun nationalist agenda seems nothing but an effort to create startling diversion which no doubt ultimately hampers the attempts to eliminate extremism from Pakistan.

Continue reading ‘Stupid’, it’s the local dynamics that matter most…

Punjab holds effectual power in Pakistan through its regional armed forces

by: Iqbal Tareen, USA

Punjab holds effectual power in Pakistan through its regional armed forces. Its power can’t be diluted by simply dividing it into multiple provinces. As a matter of fact all current provinces of Pakistan are factual provinces of Punjab. It will require a total sea change the way Punjab treats its smaller stakeholders in Pakistan. Instead of creating provinces, it will have to relinquish its quenchless desire of domination. It must begin sharing power by providing right to self-governance and ownership of resources to smaller provinces….

Religion of the Sindhis

Religion of the Sindhis (as recorded a century ago..)

– Gul Agha’s Notes

From Hastings (ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (vol. 11, ca 1912). The section is written by a Prof. W. Crooke and is annotated by a number of citations and quotes. So what does an external, turn of the century, observer have to say: The province is distinguished from the other parts of India by the great predominance of Muhammadans, who, at the time of the census of 1911 amounted to 75.14%.. Hindus being 23.83% and the balance made up of animists, Christians, Parsis, Jews, and the so-called Hindu-Mohammadans, who follow both creeds.”

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WSC Raises the issue of Killing of Sindhi Activists at the UN Human Rights Council

World Sindhi Congress Raises the IDPs and Killing of Sindhi Activists at the 11TH Session of the Human Rights Council

London: Press release- World Sindhi Congress, a leading Sindhi organisation working for the cause of human rights Of Sindh and Sindhis, has raised the issue of IDPs and killings of Sindh political workers at 11th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva , scheduled from 2-18 June 2009.

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A tribute to the Great Leader of the world Shaheed Benazir Bhutto on her Birth Day

by Zulfiqar Halepoto, Hyderabad, Sindh

My respected and dearest Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Saheba. The finest daughter of the East.

I am writing you this email with wet eyes, heavy heart, deep compassion, profound grief and heartfelt thoughts as the revival of democratic rule in the country has failed to bring social justice, peace and rule of law in the country. Unfortunately Pakistan is trapped by mediocre and corrupt rulers again and again.

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Sindh: A land of Tolerance

By Manzoor Chandio, Sindh

Why should we take sides and condemn atrocities wherever they are being committed, with a conviction that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”?

Decades ago, during civil rights movement, Dr Martin Luther King took this stand against racial discrimination in the United States. It would be no exaggeration to say that the same is also the collective wisdom of people of Sindh in southern Pakistan.

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Eroding Religious Harmony

By Salam Dharejo, Sindh

Umarkot, the birthplace of Moghul Emperor Akbar and a city of large Hindu population, is one of the few towns in Pakistan where religious festivals such as Holi and Diwali are celebrated by both Hindus and Muslims. Holi and Diwali are considered to be a particularly Hindi festival. However both Hindu and Muslim residents of Umarkot unite to celebrate these festivals to express communal solidarity and their particular village identity in spite of religious differences. No matter whether they are Hindus or Muslims, residents of Umarkot primarly identify with each other as members of the same village. Thus during such festivals, they dance in the streets and exchange sweets. A desert town splashes colors and celebrates with each other.

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The new epicenter of global instability

Sindh – The new epicenter of global instability

By Dilshad Bhutto (Senior)

Sindh has always been a fertile and rich country. For thousands of years, it had maintained trade links with other countries, some of them in far-flung regions of the world. Historians have found evidence that ships carrying merchandise from Sindh regularly called at the ports of Egypt, Java, China and Sri Lanka. From these countries, goods such as gold and silver ornaments and precious stones found their way to the royal Sindhi courts and temples. Sindh’s government treasuries had always been replete with gems and all types of treasure. In spite of their affluence, Sindhis always avoided to maintain large armies and to conquer the neighboring lands. On the contrary, invaders from outside gravitated to the riches of Sindh attacked the country a number of times and acquired so much wealth by loot and plunder that they dreamed of using that wealth to conquer other countries and extend their sway over the world. This is why all the intruders that have ruled India at times attempted to extend their jurisdiction over Sindh too.

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A Sindhi travelogue of India – Delhi Darshan

The book titled, Delhi Darshan, written by Zulfiqar Halepoto, has been published. This book is a travelogue of India. The book is published by Pakistan’s leading publishing center, FICTION HOUSE. Forward of the book is written by, renowned historian and intellectual, Ahmed Saleem. This is more about political discourse and it discussed Sindh’s decade’s old role in promoting peace, tolerance and secular values to make this region a diverse and peaceful region. It discussed the pains of partition of sub-continent, soreness of migration, crisis of ethnic identity and language, introduction of politics of violence and racism in Sindh, influx towards Sindh and disturbances in Sindh’s socio-economic and cultural landscapes,

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Apples protect heart

Apple protect the heart by it’s flavonoids, antioxidant compunds that portect us from the damage of “bad” LDL cholesterol. The flavonoid which is present in large amount in apples called quercetin. Quercetin seems to be a major  antioxidant which protect the heart if we eat apple with it’s skin.

Tall promises in Sindh Budget 2009-10

Syed Qaim Ali Shah
Syed Qaim Ali Shah

PPP’s Agenda for ChangeTall promises in Sindh Budget 2009-10

Notes by: Ahmad Mushtaque, Karachi, Sindh. June 19, 2009

Development Plans of PPP Government in Sindh in Rs 327 billion estimated budget.

Following are some of the attractive wish list mentioned in Budget speech of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah in his budget speech. The provincial PPP government presented second budget on June 10, 2009. We will see when the year ends, how much is implemented.

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