CDA 'quotation scam' runs into billions.

ISLAMABAD -- As the investigation into one of the biggest scams in the history of the Capital Development Agency (CDA) inches forward, the investigators were startled to find out that at least Rs20 billion were spent on development work carried out through the quotation system.

Under the quotation system, the civic agency is allowed to carry out emergency work, such as maintenance of street lights and water lines, without floating tenders.

It, however, cannot exceed Rs500,000. CDA's various wings while bulldozing all the rules and regulations got 'development work carried out through quotation instead of the open bidding process', allegedly causing loss to the exchequer, sources said.

Initially, it was revealed that only Rs5bn was released under the quotation system, but upon further investigation, the number turned out to be a whopping Rs20bn.

Sources told Dawn that Rs20 billion had been paid by CDA's finance wing in the name of quotation expenditure during the last few years.

Civic agency directorates also accused of making 'double payments' for projects

Giving supposed reasons for the bypassing of the regulations, the sources said in the open bidding process, bidders would have to face several quality checks, but in the quotation system, there was no such mechanism.

'Not only billions of rupees were spent on so-called quotation works but quality and quantity of work were also compromised,' said an engineer of the CDA, adding that if the said works had been carried out through open bidding, these projects could have been done at a much lower rate.

He said the probe committee was also looking into allegations of 'double payment', as allegedly some works were partially carried out through quotations, and later tenders for the same project were also sought.

'This is [a new] allegation and we are probing this aspect as well,' said an officer of the CDA.

Sources said the former CDA chairman had issued two warning letters - one in February 2021 and another in April 2022 - strictly...

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