The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has uncovered irregularities worth over Rs1.21 billion in the accounts of paramilitary forces in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Interestingly, these irregularities surfaced in the accounts of the Frontier Constabulary and the Frontier Corps around October last year when the heads of both forces had warned lawmakers that a lack of funding and weapons, and subsequent low morale might force the paramilitary units into ‘giving up the fight’. They had told a Senate panel that the 26,172-strong 108 platoons of the FC deployed in the provinces had only 42 heavy machineguns.
The AGP found misappropriations of over Rs676 million in the Frontier Constabulary in K-P, and irregularities worth Rs570 million in the Frontier Corps in Balochistan, according to a 2011-12 audit report exclusively made available to The Express Tribune. Irregularities, illegal deduction and non-deposit of funds were spotted in the accounts of the interior ministry, when Rehman Malik was in charge. These paramilitary forces fall under the ambit of the interior ministry.
The auditors found irregularities worth Rs570 million in the accounts of FC Balochistan and Balochistan Police during the last fiscal year. Both forces collectively purchased vehicles worth Rs570 million without the approval of the finance ministry. It also failed to inform the vehicles committee about the purchase till auditors discovered the irregularities. The audit report states that the expenditure, incurred in violation of government instructions, is irregular.
The report, which is likely to be tabled in Parliament in July this year, further revealed irregular deduction and retention of Rs139.8 million in the accounts of the Frontier Corps in K-P. This deduction was made from the pay of ‘jawans’ on account of ‘Scouts Saving Scheme’, the report stated. The auditors called for the unlawful deduction to be immediately stopped.
It was also revealed that the Frontier Constabulary K-P commandant withdrew an amount of Rs136 million for the purchase of arms and ammunition in 2010-11. The amount was deposited in a private bank account, while the supply of arms is still awaited. Auditors recommended an investigation into the incident.
The commandant also failed to deposit payments worth Rs195 million, received from various organisations, into the government’s accounts during the last fiscal year. The commandant, whose name was not mentioned in the report, deployed 17 FC platoons with multinational companies and government organisations for security through contract agreements.
The overseers of public accounts also revealed that the management of district officers failed to recover an amount of Rs209.9 million on account of pay and allowances of troops deployed with various private companies. The due amount may be recovered and deposited into the government’s accounts, auditors observed.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2013.