PTV incurred Rs28.2m losses, PAC panel told

Audit officials say state TV had ‘unnecessarily’ prolonged a drama series


Our Correspondent September 02, 2021
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ISLAMABAD:

A sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday directed the Ministry of Information to furnish a copy of the audit of its secret funds to the auditor general within a month.

The PAC meeting headed by Raja Riaz, while discussing the Audit paras of the Ministry of Information for 2010 to 2014-15, took the decision after the ministry failed to account for the secret funds of more than Rs340 million.

During the meeting, the audit officials informed the panel that Pakistan Television (PTV) had started airing 236 episodes of a drama series which was originally shortened to 36 episodes and was prolonged “unnecessarily”. Instead of running 36 episodes, the authorities went on to air more episodes and caused a loss of Rs28.2 million to the TV channel.

In her remarks, Information Secretary Shahira Shahid argued that the ministry no longer held the details of the secret funds therefore it could not produce the documents pertaining to their audit.
The meeting also discussed the issue of disbursement of more than Rs547.4 million to over 116 advertising agencies in the PTV Karachi office.

The press secretary told the meeting that an inquiry had revealed some irregularities in the process, adding that those who were found guilty were fined whereas other cases had been referred to the Federal Investigation Agency.

The committee directed that a copy of the special audit of secret funds should be provided to the audit authorities within a month.

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