KARACHI: A massive corruption scam in which over two billion rupees worth of food rations was supposedly given during the lockdown and Rs600 million were given to hospitals has been unearthed.
It has been further revealed that deputy commissioners were involved in the massive scam. During the first phase, the Sindh government issued Rs20 million to each deputy commissioner for the provision of food supplies.
This was followed by another Rs20 million allocated to the deputy commissioners in all 29 districts of Sindh. A sum of Rs1.16 billion were issued to provide food rations but a careful analysis has exposed the claims of the provincial government.
During the suo motu notice taken by the Supreme Court, the Sindh government revealed that Rs2000 worth of ration bags were being provided. This means that deputy commissioners can provide 10,000 rations bags with an allocated amount of Rs20 million. The scheme could have benefitted 435,000 deserving people across Sindh. In Karachi, 90,000 people would have benefitted in six districts of Karachi.
A survey of various shanty neighbourhoods in various areas including Orangi Town, Ittehad Town, Malir, Landhi, Kemari and Liaquatabad said that food rations were only provided by private charity organisations, and they have not even seen any supplies being distributed by the Sindh government.
The Sindh government has refuted the allegations and claimed to have distributed cash handouts of Rs5000 for every deserving person. It has has been revealed that an amount of Rs1.2 billion was misappropriated and embezzled for the scam.
The chief minister said the amount for distribution of rations were used from the budget. An amount of Rs200,000 from the half-million fund for union committees was forcefully deducted along with the salaries of local government employees amounting to Rs20 million per month.
Despite the massive allegations, the chief minister claimed the provincial government has spent the amount on the Ministry of Health. He did not state why an amount of Rs600 million was allocated to hospitals to gain support for the coronavirus response.