ISLAMABAD: Corruption scandal worth billion of rupees unearthed in the National Highways Authority (NHA) as its Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarrar and General Manager Mukhtar Durrani allotted tenders worth Rs. 8.5 billion of rupees to blue-eyed persons and companies violating the rules and regulations.

According to details, NHA sought applications from contractors for construction of highways on N-50 from Zohb to Mughalkot and on N-70 from Qila Saifuallah to Loralai under the China Economic Pakistan Corridor (CPEC). The total estimate cost of the two highways was about 8.5 billion rupees and several companies presented their bids for the project.

The NHA initially declared Maqbool Associates and Zarghoon JV as suitable for the contracts. However, the authority awarded the contract to Limic Construction Industry and Trade of China and Zahir Khan and Brothers violating PEPRA rules.

According to documents available with Online, the lowest bids were presented by Maqbool Associates and Zarghoon JV but the National Highway Authority awarded the contracts to Chinese company, causing billion of rupees financial losses to the national exchequer.
 
According to the report, NHA Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarrar violated rules and regulations.  The corrupt officers of the NHA have made the CPEC controversial in the very start of the project.

Close sources of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif told Online that the premier expressed annoyance over NHA officers and took strict notice of the corruption. Online contacted several times to NHA spokesperson NHA over the issue but terming the issue sensitive he referred the matter to Chairman.