Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a senior member of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN), and a former prime minister, have alleged that 20 billion rupees in “corruption” occurred during the Ramadan programme to distribute free flour.
The former premier stated that service delivery is impossible under the current system during a seminar at Lahore’s Government College University (GCU), using the free flour distribution programme as an illustration.
“Flour worth Rs. 84 billion was recently distributed. I regret to inform you that about Rs. 20 billion was plundered,” Abbasi added, questioning what the poor got for the money the government spent.
Without mentioning Abbasi’s accusation, Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb stated in a tweet that millions of needy people in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Islamabad received free flour during the difficult economic times with complete openness and honesty.
Later, PMLN leader Attaullah Tarar addressed the allegation and claimed that the former prime minister’s statements weren’t supported by evidence.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”ur” dir=”rtl”>مفت آٹا سکیم کی شفافیت کی تعریف تو مخالفین بھی کرتے رہے ہیں۔ یہ سکیم عوام کی سہولت کے لئے دیانت داری اور امانت داری کے ساتھ چلتی رہی ہے۔ کسی قسم کی بد عنوانی کا سوال ہی پیدا نہیں ہوتا۔ کل سیمینار میں کی جانے والی گفتگو حقائق کے بر عکس تھی اور حقیقت پر مبنی نہیں تھی۔ <a href=”https://t.co/dnqEl2KyzT”>https://t.co/dnqEl2KyzT</a></p>— Attaullah Tarar (@TararAttaullah) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TararAttaullah/status/1652521210033627136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 30, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Punjab government’s reaction
The claims made by the previous premier were likewise described as “false and fabricated” by the interim administration in Punjab.
Amir Mir, the interim information minister for the province, claimed in a statement that there was not even a shred of corruption, adding that those making the charges had ruined their own reputations.