Monday Mar 12 2018

NAB to probe corruption allegations against Billion Tree Tsunami project


ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau will initiate a probe into the corruption allegations against the Billion Tree Tsunami initiative, an official notification said on Monday.

A session of the probe body was held under NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal today, in which various issues came under discussion.

According to the official notification, the NAB also decided to inquire the alleged illegal appointment of the Higher Education Commission chairman.

The complaint against Nawaz Sharif and Establishment division’s officials will be probed, decided the probe authority.

The NAB will also observe the progress on the ongoing inquiries against illegal private cooperative housing societies, mentioned the notification.

The Chairman NAB directed that measures will be taken to restore looted hard-earned money of the public.

He further gave directions that all the inquiries and investigations should be completed on time, as per the notification.

In February, a resolution was submitted in the KP assembly secretariat against the Billion Tree Tsunami project, which has been under scrutiny due to its magnitude and contradicting data.

The allegations of corruption erupted after it emerged that the official documents of the KP government failed to correspond with the claims made by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief regarding the project.

Imran Khan had claimed that the Billion Tree Tsunami project was completed in the province and 1.12 billion trees were planted during the forestry drive.

It is pertinent to mention that in August, an investigation within the government departments revealed that 145 officers of the KP forest division were found involved in corruption.

Legal action was taken against those 145 officers, whereas, 44 officials were forcefully retired due to misappropriation of funds and other reasons regarding the project.

Billion Tree Tsunami aims to turn around deforestation and increase the province’s forested area by at least two per cent.

About 40pc of the country’s remaining forests are in KP province.