ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, on Monday, sought details of Rs1,240 billion (USD $7.5 billion) set aside by the federal government for emergency relief services to combat Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
The meeting, which was held here with Rana Tanveer Hussain in the chair took stock of the coronavirus package, directed the authorities to present the details to the committee as where the huge sum of amount was spent.
The top parliamentary watchdog also discussed the expenditure incurred in combating the novel coronavirus, saying where the money was spent as the government could not purchase the Covid-19 vaccine on time.
Besides inordinate delay in purchasing the vaccine, it added, the Utility Stores Corporations (USC) was also given money from the coronavirus package and tax refund amount also paid from it.
Hussain, who is the chairman PAC, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) also gave funds for Covid-19 but the said amount was distributed among different ministries of the government.
Sherry Rehman, a member of the PAC, said the health workers, who remained at the forefront during the pandemic, were complaining that they had not been paid yet.
In his briefing to the committee, Ministry of Finance Sectary Yousaf Khan said Rs190 billion were spent under the head of cash emergency.
He said the government had set aside Rs1,240 billion emergency relief services to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, adding the package was divided into two components.
He said Rs365 billion was non-cash and Rs875 billion was spent in form of cash, adding the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was given Rs25 billion.
He said that Health Ministry and three other departments were given Rs50 billion. However, the PAC chairman was not satisfied with expenditures in wake of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021