PESHAWAR: An audit report has found embezzlement of millions of rupees apart from gross misuse of power in the Khyber Medical College of Peshawar.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Audit Director-General Report from 2015 to 2018, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, states that during the financial years 2015-18, record of Khyber Medical College (KMC) Peshawar’s dean shows in the 34th Board of Governors (BOG) meeting of the college, health professional allowance (HPA) worth Rs3,000 to non-clinical staff from basic pay scale (BPS) grade 1 to BPS-10. An HPA of Rs4,00 was approved for staff in BPS-11 and above.
The audit noted that around Rs17.995 million were spent to provide this allowance to those who were not eligible for it according to the rules and regulations of the government.
The report added that when the matter was brought to the notice of KMC’s management in January 2019, the college’s finance department provided a one-line budget and referred further head-wise distribution under the purview of the BOG.
The BOG also approved Institutional Professional Allowance for all non-clinical staff who were not entitled to receive HPA. The report noted that the Institutional Professional Allowance (IPA) cannot be allowed without approval from the finance department first.
The audit report noted that there were un-authorized withdrawals of HPA; conveyance allowance, basic science allowance and other allowances worth Rs47.431 million for those doctors who were either on summer or winter leave.
Moreover, the management of the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) deducted sum worth Rs12.878 million from the pay of KMC staff on account of retention of allowances which was unauthorised.
The report further said that during FY 2015-18, payment of gross salaries to the KMC establishment was transferred from the KMC reserve fund account to the KTH Fund Account (payment account) as per the procedure of Medical Teaching Institution Act.
It was further added that an amount of just Rs11.84 million had been transferred to the KMC reserve fund account instead of Rs24.718 million with Rs12.878 million is still outstanding.
The report noted that retaining of emolument on account of deduction of allowance from the KMC staff is not allowed and that the money needs to be transferred to the KMC along with the mark up accrued therein reflecting their annual receipts incorporated in the budget.
The audit report added that the unauthorized creation and conversion of a Senior Registrar Post to that of an Assistant Professor caused a loss of Rs94.858 million.
The report stated that during the 23rd BOG meeting held on April 15, 2017, it was decided to approve a move to re-designate posts of all existing Senior Registrars of the MTI KTH in BPS-18 as Assistant Professors in BPS-18.
Furthermore, 35 posts of Senior Registrars and six posts of Senior Medical Officers in BPS-18 were re-designated as per a decision was taken in the 31st BOG meeting held on August 19, 2017. The idea was that Assistant Professors, being teaching posts, can be transferred to the KMC along with their salaries.
The report added that when these issues and discrepancies were raised before the KMC’s management in January 2019, the college pointed out that the MTI Act -2015 gave the power of creating, converting and re-designating posts to the BOG.
The report, though, termed this answer as less than convincing.
Similarly, the report said that the unauthorized conversion of a demonstrator post into an Assistant Professor and drawing un-authorized allowance has caused losses worth Rs7.92 million to the government exchequer while records of Social Welfare Society, where expenditures of Rs9.064 million were listed, were irregularly maintained.
The report further added that the college’s decision to grant fee concession to foreign self-finance students caused a loss of Rs1.8 million.
The loss caused due to deduction of advance income tax was Rs812, 500. The audit report also cast doubt over the full drawl of Rs917,120 for the purchase of tyres apart from misappropriation of Rs498,500 for the repair of vehicles which never happened.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2019.