ISLAMABAD National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce has begun probe into three major corruption scandals. The Committee met under the Chairmanship of MNA Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan on Thursday. Federal Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim also attended the meeting. The Committee started investigating into the recently unearthed scandal on import of hitherto banned waste lube and waste furnace oil, embezzlement and forgery totalling Rs 24 million over ten years at National Tariff Commission, and unjustified and inflated purchase of real estate by National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL). Khurram Dastgir Khan said, Parliament holds every rupee of public exchequer in sacred trust. We are committed to combating corruption at every level and will not sweep any embezzlement under the carpet. Integrity, transparency, and efficiency are our guidelines. The Committee has taken serious notice of allowing import of 10 million metric tonnes used furnace oil by Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim under his discretionary powers and sought all of its record. The Committee reviewed the matter pertaining to the permission by Commerce Minister to import 10 million metric tonnes used furnace oil to ideal trading company on the recommendation of Sardar Omar, a PPP MNA. The Committee scrutinised the permission granted by Commerce Ministry in November 2009 to import 10 million metric tonnes (MT) of waste lube and furnace oil, items banned previously under the Trade Policy 2009-10, following the 1992 Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. Commerce Secretary Zafar Mehmood told the Committee, We can not import used furnace oil under international convention and it was included in prohibited goods. However Commerce Ministry could accord permission for importing it in accordance with the requirement. MNA Sardar Omar said his recommendation was legal as furnace oil was coming to Pakistan in illegal way. We adopted legal way and it would benefit Pakistan, he added. Media had blown the issue out of proportion, he said. The Committee directed the Ministry to submit all documents pertaining to the waste lube waiver. The Committee observed that Commerce Ministry had not performed due diligence before issuing the import permission and decided to review the rules of ministerial discretion. The Committee Chairman said the company was based in Multan for which the recommendation was made while used furnace oil was to be used in Balochistan. How did it become possible? he questioned. Political influence was used for this purpose, he remarked. Khurram Dastgir led the inquiry into embezzlement and forgery totalling Rs 24 million over ten years at National Tariff Commission. The Committee Members were of the view that only lower-grade officers were held accountable and high officials walked away. The Committee unanimously directed the Ministry and FIA to investigate supervising officials and internal auditors and expedite recovery of stolen money and conviction of the accused, besides seeking extradition of two accused officers who had absconded abroad. Unjustified and inflated purchase of real estate by NICL came under scrutiny. The Chairman strictly directed the NICL Chairman to produce all record before the NICL subcommittee within forty-eight hours and also asked the subcommittee to complete its investigation and findings within four weeks. Khurram Dastgir at the end of the meeting said that Federal Minister would personally oversee these speedy and competent investigations into corruption allegations.