Irregularities in Baitul Mal amount to Rs390m

Last audit report raises 11 objections into the working of the institute

Obaid Abbasi October 08, 2016
Last audit report raises 11 objections into the working of the institute. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Irregularities and misappropriation amounting to Rs390 million were found in the audit of Pakistan Baitul Mal (PBM), a recent report for the fiscal year of 2014-15 by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) stated.

The report had raised 11 audit objections including grants to individuals against the policy, procurement of sewing machines violating the Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and irregularity in up-gradation of posts.  The audit report pointed out that in the fiscal year of 2014-15, 20,907 cases were processed and an amount of Rs304.35 million were disbursed to individuals on the recommendation of certain people, violating the first come, first served policy. However, details of recipients were not maintained.

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The audit maintained that in absence of the applicant’s records it would be difficult to ascertain the basis on which applications of some people were rejected and those of others were accepted.

The audit report pointed out that PBM made an agreement with Singer Pakistan Limited for procurement of sewing machines without calling the competitive rate through the press. Audit held that procurement of 835 sewing machines valuing Rs37.42m was a violation of PPRA rules.

According to the audit report in 2014-15 Baitul Mal, in its 57th and 58th meetings approved the up-gradation of the posts of superintendents from BPS-16 and 17 and it also approved the up-gradation of three officers from BPS-19 to BPS-19. According to the audit report, the promotions were without reference to the finance division and payment of Rs15.38m was irregular.

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The audit report further pointed out that PBM hired buildings including regional office Quetta and Sweet Home in Multan on a rent of 17,714,000 per month. This, the audit stated was a violation of the PPRA rules as tenders were not called for the renting.

Similarly, the audit report stated that PBM regional office in Peshawar gave a tender notice in the newspaper for renting a bungalow but gave only seven days to respond as against the prescribed minimum 15 days’ time.

Moreover, at least nine employees were terminated from their services, but house building advances outstanding against them amounting to Rs2.07m could not be recovered. The audit recommended the recovery of the said amount.

It was also pointed out that PBM procured physical assets including office equipment and furniture valued at Rs1.57m without the approval of the finance division. Similarly, an amount of Rs790 million was invested in Pakistan investment bond by the PBM. Instead of reinvesting the funds, the principal and interest amount was credited in the bank which deprived the organisation of Rs12.73 million in interest income.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2016.


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