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ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has given observation that the words ‘development loan’ are undefined and used by the Finance Division according to the requirements.

It states that watching recovery of principal and interest of such loans was the responsibility of the loan sanctioning authority.

There might be some mechanism / arrangement in the Finance Ministry to ensure these issues.

The AGP office says that no system exists in this office for the recovery of loans granted by the government to other organisations / departments as development loan.

The AGPR has raised objections that loans to organisations /departments are not routed through this office.

In NHA case, the NHA’s view point regarding repayment of loan was that they carried out development of highways / bridges etc on behalf of the government and did not consider it as loans.

The provision of GFR volume-I states that general instructions apply to all loans and advances to local bodies etc, other than advances to cultivators, etc, which are governed by special rules, and subject to the provisions of relevant Acts or rules made there under, the conditions under which the loans are granted should be regulated accordingly.

In instructions, a specific term, as short as possible, should be fixed for repayment of loan or advance with interest dues. The term is to be calculated from the date on which the loan is completely taken up or declared by competent authority to be closed.

The repayment of loan should be effected by fixed half yearly installments, due dates for payment being specially prescribed. Installments paid before the due date will be taken entirely to principal unless, of course, any interest for a preceding period is overdue.

These observations were discussed in sub-committee-IV of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) while examining the Finance Division Audit Report 2014-15. The AGP observed that recovery of loan and advances to individuals and government servants were made from the monthly salaries, however, no mechanism to recover loans/advances given to government departments and organisation and even to provincial governments.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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