Liquor license case: NAB orders CM Punjab to submit report by August 18

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has ordered Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to submit his reply by August 18 in the liquor license case.
According to sources, Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar had appeared before the anti-graft body today and sat through for nearly two hours.
Sources further said issuance of liquor license falls under the domain of the DG Excise; however, Usman Buzdar allegedly used his influence to favor a hotel in Lahore.
The private hotel did not obtain a 4-5 star rating license from the Punjab Tourist Department under the Pakistan Hotels Act 1976. A policy was issued by the CM’s office in 2009 regarding the licensing of 4 and 5-star hotels, which was violated, sources added.
In April 2019, NAB had started a probe into Buzdar’s alleged corruption after two complaints were filed with the corruption watchdog against him. CM Buzdar was accused of getting a liquor-sale permit issued to a private hotel in the provincial capital.
The chief minister was also accused of getting a helicopter for his official use insured for Rs70 million, instead of Rs30 million, according to sources. Buzdar had instructed to pay the insurance amount through a supplementary grant.
The NAB had started proceedings for verification of the corruption complaints, for which the anti-graft body’s Lahore bureau issued the directives.
Yesterday, the Punjab Chief Minister had said that even if the NAB called him ten times, he would go and show everything. “Our government has been criticized from day one,” he said. There is organized propaganda against us. I will appear in NAB,” he added.
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