Wheat bags: Embezzlement in distribution unearthed

Public Accounts Committee seeks report from PASSCO.

August 03, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (Passco) Chairman General (Retd) Tauqeer has disclosed to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the organisation has unearthed large-scale embezzlement in distribution of sacks to farmers during the wheat procurement campaign.

“Some vested interests were planning to stop the distribution of sacks to the farmers,” he told the committee, which met under the chairmanship of Nadeem Afzal Gondal here on Thursday.

An audit official, who was present in the meeting, told the committee that Passco had received Rs115 billion in subsidy on distribution of sacks to farmers.

The committee asked Passco to prepare and submit a report on the distribution of sacks in Punjab. Committee member Hamid Yar Hiraj said irregularities in the supply of sacks in the province had made lives of farmers miserable.

It was disclosed that after devolution of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to the provinces following passage of 18th Constitution Amendment, the office furniture and vehicles of the ministry went missing.

The PAC chairman said the official record of the ministries handed over to provinces was missing and termed it a serious concern, which should be investigated.

The audit official said the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) inducted section officers to save official record of the devolved ministries, but they failed to perform their duties.

The committee directed the Passco managing director to recover within one month the vehicles, which were given to the officers on book value and were parked at homes of these officers.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2012.


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