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PESHAWAR: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has pinpointed non-recovery of an amount of Rs.159.677 million in the accounts of the Education Department during financial year 2018-19, said Audit Report 2019-20.

The report has already been presented in the provincial assembly wherein the Speaker has referred it to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the house.

In first case, a non-recovery of an amount of Rs.110.320 million in the University of Peshawar wherein according to the Directorate of Works University of Peshawar letter dated 23.07.2019, about sharing of expenditure of electricity bill in respect of campus peace corps to seven institutions of the university campus.

During audit of the University of Peshawar for the financial year 2018-19, it was observed that electricity dues amounting to Rs.100.320 million were outstanding since January 1989 till June 2019, which was not recovered from Police Corps by the University of Peshawar.

It was further revealed that the Director Works requested to the other seven institutions of the university to pay their due share amounting to Rs.6,465,205/- as expenditure of electricity bill w.e.f January 2018 to June 2019 in respects of campus corps, but still the date of audit 18.09.2019 no response was received. This resulted in the undue burden over the university resources.

The audit has attributed the lapse to weak financial controls of the management of the university. When pointed out, the management stated that reply will be submitted after the observations are discussed with concerned offices. Audit requested the department for holding of the Departmental Audit Committee (DAC) meeting. However, no DAC meeting was convened till the finalization of audit report. The audit has recommended recovery of the electricity dues from all seven institutions.

The second non-recovery to the tone of Rs.33,224 million was detected in head of recovery of outstanding dues from the leased properties of Islamia College University, Peshawar. According to Rule 2.3 of the Financial Rules of Islamia College University, Peshawar, the University or any other person generally or specifically authorized by it may apply to the collector for recovery of any sum due to the university under any head or otherwise and the Board of Management share thereupon proceed to recover the sum due, as if it were arrears of land revenue.

During audit of the Islamia College University, Peshawar for the Financial Year 2017-18, it was observed that agricultural and commercial property were leased out in favour of various persons, but the revenue statement provided by the Board of Management showed an amount of Rs.33,224,487/- as outstanding against the leaseholders that needs to be recovered.

The properties are included agricultural land at Rai-Mahal Charsadda, Harrichand (Charsadda), Tarnab (Charsadda), commercial property/ shops at Charsadda Bazaar, commercial property/shops at Khyber Bazaar, Dr. Hakeem Shah for land of 4 kanal at Buriji Hari Singh and Asim Hayat Cabin No 2 & Mini Food Point.

The audit has attributed the lapse to the violation of rules and regulations, but when pointed out in February 2019, it was stated that a detailed reply will be furnished after consulting the relevant record.

In DAC meeting, the department stated that it is a long standing issue of the Board of Management, commercial as well as agricultural property. The list of defaulters has already been sent to Director General (DG) National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Ehtesab Commission. Both DAC and Audit have directed the early recovery of the outstanding dues.

In third case, a non-recovery of government dues amounting to Rs.24.802 million was not recovered from the defaulting scholars. As per terms and conditions of PhD Programme, the scholars are required to re-join university after completion of PhD and serve the same institute for 3 to 5 years as the case may be. In case of failure, the scholar will repay the amount spent on his/her studies.

During audit of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar for the Financial Year 2018-19, it was observed that an amount of Rs. 24,802,699/- was paid to various foreign universities as tuition fees and stipend for the PhD scholars. Verification of record revealed that the scholars served the university for three instead of five years as required under the contract agreement.

Audit has attributed the lapse to violation of rules and regulations, but when pointed out, it was stated that a detailed reply will be furnished after consulting the relevant record.

Another non-recovery of Rs.1.331 million was detected in head of rent from tenant shopkeepers by the Agriculture University Peshawar. According to the terms and conditions, of the lease agreements executed between the lessee and the Agriculture University Peshawar, during the lease period, the lessee will pay rent in advance. The owner/lesser will have the right to terminate the lease agreement if the lessee fails to deposit rent or utility bills for one quarter.

During the audit of the Agriculture University Peshawar for the Financial Year 2017-18, it was observed that seventy nine (79) shops are owned by the university. These shops were rented out to the individuals on a monthly rent basis. Further scrutiny of the receipts of the shops revealed that monthly rent was not deposited by some shopkeepers and an amount of Rs. 1,330,827/- remained outstanding against them.

Audit has attributed the lapse to weak internal financial controls and when pointed out, the university stated that a detailed reply will be submitted after verification of record.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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