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ISLAMABAD: A top parliamentary watchdog was informed on Wednesday that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is yet to pay Rs470 million to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) as charges for results transmission system (RTS) in 2018 general elections.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which met here with its chairman Rana Tanveer in the chair, directed the ECP to immediately pay Rs470 million to the Nadra.

The country’s electoral body earned the ire of the top parliamentary watchdog, which castigated it for its reluctance in delaying millions of rupees payment despite, using the RTS system prepared by the Nadra even after passage of three years.

The PAC members were unanimous in saying: the ECP has not fallen from the sky as it is a state institution just like any other institution.

The outright remarks from the members left the ECP senior officials red-faced as they had no justification for the delay in making the payments to the Nadra.

The PAC warned the ECP that its funds would be stopped, if the payments are not made to the Nadra immediately.

The PAC chairman also directed the Nadra to review its fee, which it is drawing from people under the head of coronavirus vaccination certificate.

Nadra is charging Rs100 from masses for a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, which has become a major concern for the poor, who are hardly making both ends meet due to skyrocketing inflation in the country.

The PAC chairman regretted that the Nadra is supposed to charge Rs25 but it is charging Rs100 for Covid-19 vaccination certificate, while Rs350 for Covid-19 vaccination card, which is in no way justified.

Chairman Nadra Tariq Malik said that he has come back to Nadra and is making all-out efforts to streamline things within the organisation.

“As chairman Nadra, I see things through the eyes of the common man and not through the eyes of technology…I assure you […] no stone will be left unturned in making things easy [at the Nadra] and facilitate the masses,” he maintained.

At the same time, Malik insisted that Rs100 for coronavirus vaccination certificate is quite justified, but he miserably failed to impress the committee members, despite, all his “sugar-coated” remarks.

The PAC chairman said that if Rs100 is charged per head for coronavirus vaccination certificate, it goes into billions of rupees, saying the Nadra must review the fee it has been charging as there is no justification to collect huge sum of amount for a certificate.

He said that the Nadra is not a profit-making organisation as it is a service provider institution and its sole purpose should be to facility the masses instead of making profits from the poor masses.

The committee also reviewed the audit paras for the Interior Ministry and its attached departments for 2019-20.

The PAC directed the Interior Ministry to hold departmental audit committee (DAC) meetings in order to ensure recoveries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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