NAB files reference against PTI’s Punjab minister

By: News Desk      Published: 03:08 PM, 31 Dec, 2020
NAB files reference against PTI’s Punjab minister
File photo.

An accountability court in Lahore directed Punjab Minister for Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Sibtain Khan and eight others to appear in person on January 4 after the NAB filed a reference against the PTI member, reported 24NewsHD TV channel Thursday.

The reference pertains to his tenure as mines and minerals minister in the cabinet of the then chief minister Pervaiz Elahi. He is accused of causing a loss of hundreds of millions of rupees by awarding a contract illegally to a company of his choice in July 2007 for iron ore in Chiniot.

It was Gujranwala-based Earth Resource Pvt Ltd that benefitted in the process as it did not even have previous experience in mining.

Furthermore, no other company was considered during the bidding process for the contract while contributing only 20 percent to the project.

According to the NAB, Sibtain was behind the Rs2.5 million sale of mineral deposits worth billions of rupees to the company. Additionally, the project's details had never been provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan although work on it was ongoing.

Last month, Manzar Hayat – former managing director of the Punjab Mineral Development Corporation – recorded his statement as an approver against Sibtain. Earlier in July, the NAB had arrested Sibtain but was later released on bail.