NADRA minting money out of arms licence fee

PAC summons chairman to explain additional collection sans finance approval


Saqib Virk December 19, 2020
PHOTO: ONLINE/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly was informed on Friday that the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) was charging unauthorised additional charges on arms licence fees.

The committee met with Member National Assembly (MNA) Rana Tanveer Hussain in the chair, for confirmation of actionable points of previous meetings held on November 18 and 19, examination of audit paras of the interior ministry and the Federal Investigation Agency (FlA) for 20l9-20.

During the meeting, audit officials told the committee that NADRA was receiving arms licence fees on behalf of the interior ministry. They added that there was no mechanism to reconcile the fee being charged.

The committee was informed that Rs134 million was collected in the form of arms licence fee out of which NADRA kept Rs29 million for itself. The members were further informed that NADRA was also taking collection charges without approval of the finance department.

Rana Tanveer Hussain, the committee chairman, said that they were collecting a lot of money. He added that if NADRA wanted to charge amount, it could make the demand separately. Committee member Munaza Hassan said that NADRA considered itself an independent entity.

The committee directed the interior ministry to resolve the issue within a month. The committee expressed displeasure over the absence of the NADRA chairman and summoned him and other officials concerned to its next meeting.

During the meeting, the audit officials also informed the committee that the FIA had set up a welfare fund but there were no rules or regulations for it. They added that details were not shared with the auditors as to how much money was in the fund at the moment and where it came from.

FIA Director General Wajid Zia informed the committee that the rules for the fund had been submitted to the finance ministry for approval. He added there was Rs6.2 million in the fund, which was being used for the families of the martyrs.

Audit officials told the committee that payments were made by the directorate general of immigration and passports to a regional passport office despite no work was being done there. The committee directed for inquiries against the responsible persons.

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