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coronavirus
Coronavirus
VERY HIGH
Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
29,037
824hr
Pakistan Cases
1,338,993
5,47224hr
Sindh
509,308
Punjab
455,499
Balochistan
33,744
Islamabad
112,557
KPK
182,619

ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) was tasked to calculate the financial losses inflicted to the national exchequer in the Broadsheet case within 10 days, so that the responsibility could be fixed.

The decision was taken in the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) held on Tuesday under the chairman and PML-N leader Rana Tanveer Hussain.

The chairman said the prime minister had the authority to take administrative actions against public office holders; however, it was the responsibility of the PAC to look into the financial losses, fix responsibility, and recover the amount involved in the Broadsheet case.

Javaid Jehangir AGP informed the committee that a team of auditor general office would visit the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Tuesday, and started examining the record of the agreement signed with Broadsheet.

Broadsheet LLC, a UK company that was registered in the Isle of Man in the Pervez Musharraf era, helped the then government and the newly-established NAB track down foreign assets purchased by Pakistanis through alleged ill-gotten wealth.

The companies’ claims against Pakistan were held valid by an arbitration court in 2016 and later by a United Kingdom high court that gave an award of over $28 million against Pakistan last year.

The auditor general stated that his team contacted the NAB official on Friday and sought relevant record for audit purposes.

In response, the NAB had shown willingness to provide details on Tuesday.

Earlier, they committed to provide records on Monday (January 18).

The committee declined to grant two weeks for completion of audit of the agreement with Broadsheet.

The chairman said the prime minister had given 48 hours to a committee to look into the Broadsheet accusations and other related issues.

“We are giving you 10 days to complete audit of the agreement of the NAB with Broadsheet and other related matters,” he added.

The AGP sought two weeks to complete the audit.

He said the audit officials might need assistance from the Foreign Office in verification of some of the material the NAB would provide them which was a time-consuming process.

One member of the committee, Noor Alam alleged that the decision of the committee to audit the accounts of the NAB with reference to Broadsheet was nothing more than a political [point] scoring and the committee should focus more on public interest matters such as examination of the National Highways Authority (NHA)’s accounts.

Most of the committee members said it was already published in newspaper and recommended that the committee should not drag itself into the matter.

Mushahid Hussain remarked that it was an interesting case as for the first time the NAB was accused of funding foreigners.

The committee examined the audit paras of the NHA for 2019, and expressed its dissatisfaction on the conditions of motorways and manual toll collection arrangements at various points, which are causing inconvenience for the people.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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