Lahore [Pakistan], May 26 (ANI): The Anti-Corruption Establishment in Pakistan’s Punjab province has begun an investigation into the scam linked to Rawalpindi Ring Road project, which Prime Minister Imran Khan has endorsed.
The investigating team named by Director-General Anti-Corruption Mohammad Gohar comprises legal, technical and economic experts, according to a spokesperson of the department, reported The News International.
"The team has launched a probe into the scandal and after a thorough investigation, all the facts of the project will be made public," the spokesperson said.
The Rawalpindi Ring Road (RRR) project has taken political circles in Pakistan by storm. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had earlier demanded resignations from Imran Khan along with other ministers who were allegedly involved in the scam of the Rawalpindi Ring Road project.
Evidence has emerged that Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar had endorsed the RRR project.
Khan had recently directed the Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to launch a probe into the RRR project and had taken notice of the alleged changes in the route of the project allegedly at the behest of certain private interests, reported The News International.
The allegations have been so damning that Zulfi Bukhari, whose name was referenced in the report, has also resigned as Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM), reported The News International.
A recent report showed an initial inquiry into the scam found that over Rs 130 billion have been made in property deals as part of the RRR project since its conception in 2017.
According to the new official findings, 18 politically connected individuals and 34 influential builders and property tycoons have acquired around 64,000 kanals of land in different deals within the limits of the Rawalpindi/Attock loop, Paswal Zigzag, GT Road and Islamabad Margalla Avenue, The News International reported.
The value of this land was expected to multiply once work on the Rawalpindi Ring Road project started. An examination of official records, files and initial findings of investigators linked with the project found that these 52 individuals, either directly or through frontmen, collectively acquired over 63,828 kanals of land by paying an estimated Rs 31 billion to the real owners. Some portions of the lands were allegedly grabbed in the last four years.
Societies and property tycoons sold around 0.32 million files/pledges of plots by generating an estimated Rs 131 billion from clients, officials revealed, The News International reported.
According to the publication, dealers have also yet to pay tax against 67 per cent of the land deals, which remains at Rs 1.7 billion. Around 60 per cent of societies and builders did not meet the basic registration criteria.
Hundreds of thousands of land registrations, however, were being sold to bulk purchasing investors and potential buyers on 10 per cent to 30 per cent down payments in the market, revealed off-the-record discussion/interviews with around a dozen senior officials of the RDA, CDA and Attock/Rawalpindi/ICT administration. (ANI)