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SC grills Sindh government over Thar Coal embezzlement


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The Supreme Court on Monday, March 25, 2019, ordered Sindh’s Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to submit his response in a case related to alleged embezzlement in the Thar Coal Authority within a period of one month, local press reported.

Led by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, a two-member apex court bench at its Karachi Registry noted with severe displeasure, the Sindh government’s failure to compile an audit report of the expenses incurred by the Coal authority to the provincial exchequer.

“Not a single glass of water has been made available to the people of Thar, inspite of having spent Rs105 billion,” the bench noted, adding that the government has not provided basic facilities to the people of Sindh. According to a recent international journal, 64 percent of Pakistani citizens live without access to clean drinking water, with a huge contribution to the statistics by Sindh. Sindh also has the highest infant mortality, water-borne diseases, and hunger index.

In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court had expressed dissatisfaction over the non-submission of the inquiry report regarding corruption in the Thar Coal Authority.

“All this money went into pockets,” Justice Gulzar remarked and added it’s the duty of the government to provide the people basic amenities. “You people can’t even carry out development work in a transparent manner. Billions of rupees meant for Thar Coal Authority and Mobile Emergency Unit were embezzled,” he said, addressing the advocate general Sindh.

In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court had expressed dissatisfaction over the non-submission of the inquiry report regarding corruption in the Thar Coal Authority. The top court had asked the Sindh government to submit a progress report along with pictures of the project and the development work if any.

The Thar Coal authority’s alleged embezzlement had come under the light in December last year, when the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqi Nisar had summoned Dr. Samar Mubarak, the spearhead of the Thar coal project, to submit an explanation over the non-functionality of the project.

Read more: Congratulations Pakistan: Thar coal plant starts producing electricity

Last week, the Thar Coal Power Project started electricity production with 330MW of power being provided to the national grid. A spokesperson of the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) had hailed the development as “historic” and said that initially 330MW will be produced and distributed to the national grid.

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