The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) recovered about Rs108 billion — said to be a “historic” amount — in the past year, provincial Chief Minister Usman Buzdar announced in a tweet on Sunday.
Out of the total amount recovered, ACE made a direct recovery of Rs1.63bn and an indirect recovery of Rs2.81bn. More than Rs103bn were retrieved in land recovery.
“The foundation of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) has been laid on the elimination of corruption and impartial accountability,” the tweet read.
During August 2018-19, the ACE resolved 27,127 complaints out of the 26,588 that were lodged pertaining to corruption, the tweet added. About 5,410 inquiries were launched, out of which verdicts on 8,726 have been issued. The ACE, after “complete investigation”, registered 5,410 cases and have issued verdicts in 2,014.
The unit also issued 1,019 challans and conducted 280 raids. About 1,821 arrests were also made, the tweet said. It added that over the past one year, the ACE had arrested 40 suspects who were absconding and 257 accused who were wanted by the body.
“The process of accountability will continue so that public’s trust in institutions can be revived.”
The announcement comes less than two months after the Punjab government removed Ejaz Hussain Shah as ACE director general over “poor performance”.
Shah was appointed on March 4 this year as the ACE DG and was removed at a time when he was dealing with several high-level inquiries against the leaders of the PML-N.
An official had told Dawn that the government was unhappy over the “slow” pace of work on many cases pending within the department. He said Shah was “not following” the instructions to speedily dispose of cases.
The higher-ups were quite satisfied with the performance of former ACE DG Hussain Asghar and wanted Shah to follow his spirit of work.