PAC seeks Rs400b recovery details from NAB

The PAC chairman noted with annoyance that the anti-graft authority was progressing at a snail’s pace


Saqib Virk July 16, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) directed on Thursday the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to brief the committee about the progress on the audit paras referred by PAC for investigation.

The committee, presided over by Rana Tanveer Hussain, also reviewed the audit objections of the National Logistics Cell (NLC) and Pakistan Railways.

The PAC chairman noted with annoyance that the anti-graft authority was progressing on the cases referred by the public accounts at a snail’s pace. The committee asked the bureau to account for a total of Rs400 billion it recovered from politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.

“NAB’s chairman had made claims of having recovered Rs400 billion but they are yet to provide details of the amount,” the chairman said adding, “We will no longer send cases to the bureau”.

During the meeting, Khawaja Asif suggested that such cases were not meant to be referred to NAB or Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the first place, urging the committee to “protect its boundaries”.

Also read: PAC orders probe into Broadsheet issue, Cabinet allegations

Besides, the audit officials informed the committee that the NLC had awarded the contract for the installation of escalators in the under-construction mass transport project in Karachi, the Green Line Bus Rapid Transit System without competitive tender, which cost the project a hefty amount of Rs960 million.

The officials complained that despite overpayments to contractors, NLC was made to pay more than Rs178 million to several companies, including Habib Rafique and Khan Construction.

Audit officials further said that many contracts were awarded without tendering process in CPEC Package One in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), LED road lights, road construction without tender, due to which a loss of Rs1200 million was incurred.

However, the NLC officials contended that they should be exempted from the rules of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PEPRA), claiming they operated in areas where no one was willing to work.

The PAC then called for an inquiry into all the cases related to contracts handed out without tender within a month.

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