ISLAMABAD: A senior bureaucrat had been allotted a commercial plot in the capital by the National Police Foundation (NPF) in 2014, but three days later he sold the plot for five times the value he paid to NPF, making millions in the process.
The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has recommended an inquiry into the shady deal.
This was revealed in a report by the auditor general of Pakistan which was recently presented to the Parliament.
The report states that Shahid Khan, a former secretary of the Interior Ministry and the incumbent secretary to the president of Pakistan, had been offered a commercial plot measuring 200 square yards by the NPF in Sector E-11 for Rs2 million in 2014.
Khan, who was then serving as the chairman of the foundation’s Committee of Administration, accepted the ‘offer’ and paid the full value of the plot.
The plot was officially handed over to him on December 5, 2014.
However, the auditors were astonished to learn that Khan sold the plot for Rs10 million, exactly three days later on December 8.
The audit objected to NPF over the sale of the plot at a price well below market rates.
“The price of the plot was not determined as per prevailing market rates at the time of offering allotment. The sale of the plot at five times the purchase price within three days clearly shows the disparity in the pricing mechanism of NPF … Audit is of the view that the plot was allotted only to benefit the individual,” the audit report read.
The AGP subsequently recommended an inquiry into the deal to fix responsibility apart from recovering the market cost of the plot.
“Audit recommends that market cost of the plot may be recovered besides fixing the responsibility [for underselling],” the report said.
The Public Accounting Officer was told about the anomaly on December 5, 2016, but the departmental accounts committee was not convened till the audit report was finalised.
When The Express Tribune contacted Khan, he refused to comment on the issue.
“The issue will be settled in court. I have done nothing illegal,” he stated.
The NPF was set up in 1975 under the Charitable Endowment Act for the welfare of police officials. The Interior secretary heads its committee of administration as an ex-officio chairman.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2017.