'Unclaimed BISP amount tops Rs5b'

The meeting examined the 2015-16 audit papers of the ministry of housing and works


Ahmed Mansoor February 13, 2019
The meeting examined the 2015-16 audit papers of the ministry of housing and works. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: A subcommittee of the Public Accounts Committee was informed on Wednesday that an amount of Rs5 billion for the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), could not be utilised because the recipients did not collected it.

During a meeting it was revealed that the amount was deposited in the accounts of the people concerned but they did not come to receive it. Therefore, the money was deposited back the national exchequer.

The committee expressed its concern over the non-utilisation of the amount, saying that it implied that the system was not functioning in the right manner and this was a failure of communication. The committee summoned further details of the issue within a week.

The meeting, chaired by its convener Senator Sherry Rehman, examined the audit of the BISP 2015-16. The committee was informed that in the past two years alone, the unclaimed amount of the BISP was Rs2,245 million. The overall amount so far has reached Rs5 billion.

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Committee Member Ijaz Ahmed Shah noted that the people not claiming the amount meant the system was not functioning correctly. Senator Rehman termed it to be the failure of the communication as people were vying for a hundred rupees.

The committee directed the officials to provide more details of the unutilised amount within a week. The committee also sought reply from the BISP officials about the paying 2,192 million as bank charges and the payment of Rs7 million to an employee in the form of allowances.

The meeting examined the 2015-16 audit papers of the ministry of housing and works. The audit officials said that 11 officers of grade 17 and grade 18 were allotted houses by the ministry of housing. The housing ministry officials said that these houses had been vacated.

The audit officials also informed the committee that a loss of Rs23 million was incurred as retired employees did not vacate their houses and non-payment of the rent. The ministry officials said that 530 houses had so far been vacated while recoveries had also been made.

The committee, while issuing directives to the department of accounts committee, summoned the report within 15 days. The committee also directed for a meeting of the department of accounts on the remaining paras of the housing ministry and summoned a report.

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Separately, another PAC sub-committee met with its convener Rana Tanveer Hussain in the chair. The committee examined the implementation of the objections to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

The audit officials revealed that the role of the Pakistan Sports Board had not been approved by the finance ministry for the past 18 years. PSB officials said that letters were written to the finance ministry time and again but they raised objections every time.

The committee convener said that the PSB was working illegally for the past 18 years. The committee directed that approval must be taken from the finance ministry within 15 days and PAC to be informed.

The matter of sports board's 205 acres lease also came to the fore during the meeting. The PSB officials said that the government land was with them and it would be regularised. They added that the land was leased and that the PSB also possessed additional 60 acres of land.

Committee member Ijaz Shah said that if the government land was occupied by another institute then it belongs to that institution. Rana Tanveer Hussain said that when a stadium was built on the railways land in Mureedke, a case registered against him and the DC. The sub-committee summoned the CDA to resolve the issue of sports board's land lease.

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