Balancing accounts: PAC orders probe into fiscal irregularities

Investigation to look into accounts of C&W, PDMA, Directorate of Sports.


Manzoor Ali November 26, 2014

PESHAWAR: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the provincial assembly ordered a probe into financial irregularities in the departments of sports, Communication and Works (C&W) as well as the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).

A statement issued from the Assembly Secretariat on Wednesday stated the committee discussed the objections raised by the auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) over the accounts of Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority (PKHA), Project Management Unit (PMU), PDMA and the Directorate of Sports.



The discussions took place during a two-session meeting of the PAC. Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser chaired the first session, while Awami National Party (ANP) lawmaker Syed Jaffer Shah presided over the second. Other members, including Mohammad Ali Shah Baacha, Arbab Akbar Hayat, Mehmood Khan Bhittani, Qurban Ali Khan and Idrees Khan, were also present.

PDMA

The PAC ordered a probe into the allocation of Rs280 million for food rations for internally displaced persons (IDP) in 2009-10 under the PDMA. A committee, headed by Awami National Party (ANP) lawmaker Syed Jaffer Shah, was formed to look into the matter, while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Qurban Ali Khan and Idrees Khan were appointed members.

The committee was informed that displaced people were provided food through contractors, however, Rs280 million was also spent on the purchase of flour, rice, ghee, pulses and milk for them.

It also took notice of PDMA opening an account for donations for the welfare of IDPs at the National Bank of Pakistan in 2009-10. The committee was suspicious over the fact the authority did not provide details of this account for audit.

Fishy funds

The PAC also ordered a probe into the transfer of Rs130.6 million from a government account to a private bank account in 2009-10. It also sought an investigation into the withdrawal of Rs3.3 million from a government account and its deposit into the account of the president of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) in June 2008. The speaker formed a single member committee, under JUI-F lawmaker Mehmood Khan Bhittani, to investigate the matter.

Qaiser directed the audit department to present bigger cases before the PAC. He added it would ensure every penny spent from the government treasury was accounted for. The speaker also directed government departments to improve their audit system.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2014.

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