Irrigation department numbers fail to match

To deal with Rs1.6 b worth of irregularities in the accounts of the department, PAC forms three different committees.

Our Correspondent November 27, 2014


To deal with Rs1.6 billion worth of irregularities in the accounts of the irrigation department, the public accounts committee (PAC) of the Sindh Assembly has formed three different committees.

The meeting, which was held on Thursday with PAC chairperson Saleem Jalbani in chair, shed light on the sub-standard construction on the dykes of River Indus, irregular refunds for security deposits, expenditure on extra items, irregular payments made as land compensation and expenditure carried out without inviting tenders.

Out of 19 audit concerns, the officials produced records of only five, pointed out Jalbani, adding that the rest of the observations were deferred for want of verification of the records.

The audit officials also unearthed a concern that was 45 years old, amounting to Rs34 million. "This para reveals that the irrigation officials had utilised the amount in 1969 but failed to produce the records," said audit director-general Ghulam Akbar Sohu. "Every year, we repeat this para at the time of audit."

Irrigation secretary Zaheer Hyder Shah claimed that 90 per cent of the officers involved in this misdeed have either been retired or have died. "We have moved a summary to the chief minister to write off the amount," he said.

KU admissions policy

Jalbani took strong exception to the commitment made by the Karachi University vice-chancellor regarding the admissions quota for rural Sindh students. Speaking to the media at Sindh Assembly, Jalbani said, "Dr Qaiser had assured us that 400 seats would be allocated for rural Sindh students but the admission prospectus reveals that the number of seats stands at only 90."

PAC members have asked the CM's secretary on boards and universities to give a briefing on the district-wise quota allocated by KU for rural Sindh students.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2014.


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