LAHORE – The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) has been declared guilty of deliberately making an illegal payment amounting to Rs 19.1 million to one of the partners of a joint venture-MKEC-AHC (JV) in violation of the settled terms and conditions. As per details, the LWMC entered into a contract with the private company for hiring of contractors for secondary waste collection and transportation to the dump site in respect of Ravi Town and Data Ganj Bakhsh Town in September 2021. Under clause 6.1 of the special conditions of contract (SCC) executed between LWMC and MKEC-AHC (JV), the finance department of LWMC is bound and restricted to make all payments only in the account of lead partner of the said Joint Venture (JV) and no deviation of any sort is permissible in this regard. However, admittedly, some payments had been made violating the settled terms and conditions of the agreement, according to the findings of the legal committee. According to the documents available with this newspaper, the matter was brought into the notice of the Board of Directors of the LWMC which deliberated on it in its meeting held on 6th January 2023 and referred the matter of illegal payment to the legal committee authorized to advise necessary legal action against the responsible officer. The official documents reveal that despite having the knowledge of this meeting the CFO LWMC Talal Chand didn’t appear before the committee neither any of his representatives attended the meeting to provide general assistance against the allegation. Even the finance department did not provide the record for inspection. The legal committee declared that the payments that were made against the settled terms and conditions of the contract are illegal, unlawful, without jurisdiction and authority. This act is also against public interest because LWMC is a public sector company operating with public money, it noted.
The legal committee advised the management of LWMC to send reference to the Anti-corruption department for initiation of proceedings as per laws , rules and regulations. The committee further advised the management of LWMC to restrain the (CFO) Talal Chand from work till finalization of the case.
The committee also proposed a departmental action under relevant provision of law and policy. Moreover, the committee also recommended that recovery of the unlawfully paid amount must also be initiated without any procrastination and make the pending payment of acknowledged work to the contractor and update the legal committee in this regard.
Speaking to The Nation, CFO LWMC Talal Chand denied the allegations and said the payments were made according to settled terms of the contract. He also produced a few documents to support his stance, but those pertained to the mutual agreement between the two companies involved in the joint venture besides a unilateral document provided by one of them. He also said he was not informed about the meeting of the legal committee. The Nation contacted the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LWMC Ali Anan Qamar several times, however, he didn’t respond to messages and calls made by this scribe