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Nearly 6m afs embezzled in Jalalabad Municipality contract

Nearly 6m afs embezzled in Jalalabad Municipality contract

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On
Oct 28, 2020 - 20:29

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): A contractor purchased one litre of fuel for the  Jalalabad Municipality 20 afghanis higher than the market price, thus embezzling 5,820,000afs, (five million eight hundred twenty thousand afs) in a one year contract, Pajhwok Afghan News has reliably learned.

The higher rate is charged at a time when the price of petrol and diesel remains stable at 36afs per litre from the past few months, but the Jalalabad Municipality has inked one year contract with a company that provides one litre of fuel against 54afs.

Under the contract between Jalalabad Municipality and Umar Subhan Logistics Company dated July 22, 2020, the company will supply 260,000 litres of diesel and 60,000 litres of petrol to the municipality until July 22, 2021. 

Two other companies had requested availing the contract, but the Municipality covertly handed over the contract to Umar Subhan Logistics Company.

Fuel price in Jalalabad City:

Based on credible information from trusted sources, Pajhwok learned that at the time --- July 22, 2020 --- the contract was inked, the price of one litre of petrol was 35 afs while the price of one litre of diesel was 36 afs.

On October 26, 2020, the price of one litre of petrol was 35afs and one litre diesel cost 36afs in Jalalabad, according to the information obtained from the Crude Oil Department officially.

Inflated price:

The Jalalabad Municipality has inked the contract for the current year, in which on litre of diesel is purchased 18afs and one litre of petrol 19 afs higher than the normal price.

Pajhwok has a copy of this contract, in which one litre of diesel and the same quantity of petrol is purchased 54afs higher than the normal market price.

The first part of the contract says: “The Jalalabad Municipality’s contract of petrol and diesel for its vehicles is inked with Rahmanullah son of Amanullah from Umar Subhan Logistics Company on July 22, 2020 for one year. The contract worth 172,800,009 --- Seventeen million two hundred and eighty thousand --- as stated below.”

No

Item

Required litres

Price of one litre

Total price

1

Diesel

260,000 litres

54afs

14,040,000

 

2

Petrol

60,000 liters

 

54afs

3,240,000

Total

 

 

 

172,800,009

 

 

The contract was signed by former Jalalabad Mayor Rohul Amin Hasan and Haji Rahmanullah, owner of the Umar Subhan Company. Former Deputy Governor of Nangarhar Tamim Arif, then acting governor, has approved the contract.

On the basis of comparison between the normal market price and the price in the municipality contract, 1,140,000 afs (one million, one hundred and forty thousand afs) are misappropriated in the petrol purchase while 4,680,000afs (Four million, six hundred and eighty thousand afs) in the purchase of diesel under the municipality contract. Total 5,820,000afs, (five million eight hundred twenty thousand afs) are embezzled in this contract.

No

item

Required amount

Market price of one litre

Total price

Contract price

1

Diesel

260,000 litres

36afs

9,360,000

14,040,000

 

2

Petrol

60,000 litres

35afs

2,100,000

3,240,000

Total

 

 

 

11,460,000

172,800,009

 

 

Other companies not informed:

Pajhwok Afghan News obtained documents that say two other logistic companies had filed petition in the Nangarhar Appellant Attorney Office against Mayor Rohul Amin for not informing them about the bidding process of the contract.

Some other companies also expressed interest in obtaining this contract but they were deceived through one or other excuse by the municipality.

An application filed by Zalan Khapalwak Watan Logistic Company read that they reached the municipality to get this contract but it was handed over to a company without any bidding process.

The application letter reads: “After several contacts, we obtained the bidding letters of the items on June 29 but there was no deadline mentioned in any of the two letters. We were told by the department that we will be contacted about the deadline after a decision on the regard, but we did not stop and keep asking about the deadline from the municipality office by visiting it, unfortunately we were informed on July 10 that the bidding for the items had been done in absence of all applicant companies.”

Hekmat Rahimi Logistic Company also proposed taking the oil contract but the company was not asked to join the bidding process.

This company too in an application letter wrote to the Attorney Office that the concerned department officials colluded with their favorite company for their own interests since last few years and awarded it the contract on a higher price.

The company officials say they prepared their proposals for petrol and diesel prices and defined rates considering market prices and taxes, but the municipality did not invite them.

Officials summoned by the attorney office:

Pajhwok Afghan News also obtained a summon letter from the appellate court of Nangarhar province. The letter directed police to take measures against former acting Jalalabad mayor, Rohul Amin Hassan and officials of contracts office of Jalalabad municipality.

Mohammad Arif Mubashir, head of Nangarhar appellate court, acknowledged to Pajhwok that the case has been shared with them and it was under process.

Public criticism:

A number of residents of Nangarhar, the provincial council members and parliament members of the province say that contracts of most of government organs in the province are processed in secrecy.

Ajmal Omar, the provincial council head, said that companies who applied for bidding had complained to them and members of the council then shared the case with the governor’s house and then the attorney office.

However, he said all problems originated from the central government that appointed Rohul Amin Hassan as acting mayor for 11 months during which he misused his authority in many areas including the mentioned one.

Abdul Rahman, an official of National Unity Civil Societyinfo-icon Institute, said that most contracts were obtained by powerful figures and they had a share in contracts signed mostly at night and at private meetings.

Abdul Raouf Shpoon, a lawmaker from Nangarhar, also said that majority of government officials were not committed to their jobs and worked only for their personal benefits. He said he would raise the issue on the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon flour if the report on embezzlement was shared with him.

Responses from municipality and contract awarded company:

Pajhwok tried to contact former acting Jalalabad mayor, Rohul Hassan Amin, for his comment on the issue, but failed.

Jalalabad municipality officials also refused to comment and just said they were newly employed and the contract was signed by former officials.

However, director of Omar Subhan Logistics Company, Rahmanullah Dawlatzai said the contract was not for one day but for a year during which the rates of oil changed.

He said they were not given their money on time and the municipality owed 25 million afghanis to their company from last year which he added was the reason they took the contract on a higher price.

Provincial officials’ response:

Tamim Arif Momand, former deputy Nangarhar governor who approved the contract, said that the contract was awarded on a higher rate because it was for a long term or a year and the price of oil did not remain fixed.

He said the awarded company should also pay a three percent tax and 20 percent duty to the revenue department.

Governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani said that the local administration had launched investigation into the issue and the outcome would be soon shared with the public.

Jalalabad municipality currently owes 425 million afghanis to the local market and companies.

This report has been produced by Pajhwok and financially supported by UNDP and Denmark.

Nh/mds/ma

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