Expenditures on PTI-led sit-in in 2014: PAC panel tells FC, Rangers to provide Rs 25 million vouchers to AGP
A parliamentary panel Thursday directed the senior officials of Punjab Rangers and Frontier Corps (FC) to provide Rs 25 million vouchers to Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) about the expenditures meted out on providing security to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led sit-in in 2014. The subcommittee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) held here with Senator Shahida Akhtar in the chair to discuss and review audit paras of the Ministry of Interior of 2013-14. The committee expressed serious anger over not attending previous meeting of the committee by the Frontier Corps and Punjab Rangers officials.
The committee directed the Ministry of Interior and PAC Secretariat to issue letters of annoyance to the director generals of Punjab Rangers and Frontier Corps over not implementing the directives of the standing committee. The committee also expressed serious anger over the absence of secretary interior and warned if the senior officials keep on behaving like this, the panel will not take up the audit objections. The additional secretary interior informed the panel that the secretary interior was coordinating a meeting between the Prime Minister and an Australian delegation.
The convener committee said that as per the set rules and regulations, audit paras of all the ministries and divisions are reviewed in the presence of the principal accounting officers (PAOs), adding if anytime an officials isn't available, the ministry is bound to inform the PAC Secretariat, but the secretary interior didn't bother to do so.
The officials of the AGP informed the committee that National Bank of Pakistan without the approval of the competent authority increased the passport ticket fee from Rs 2 to Rs 25. The panel expressed displeasure over non-implementation of the PAC's directive regarding overcharging of Rs 23 from the passport fee. As per audit para, the Ministry of Finance allowed Rs 2 as bank commission on collection of passport fee. However, the NBP started charging Rs 25 as commission on receipt of passport fee.
The PAC in December 2009 directed the NBP to stop overcharging in the name of commission; however, the authorities have yet not complied with the directions. The convener committee directed the secretary interior to inquire this matter and fix responsibility regarding the officials concerned and provide details to the committee within two weeks.
The committee was also annoyed over the absence of director general Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan. Presenting the audit paras of FC Balochistan, the audit officials said that FC Balochistan installed some machines in a hospital in Quetta but hadn't shared any record with the AGP since 2014. The AGP officials said that now the FC has completed the project and it should provide the details of all the expenditures to the AGP so that audit can be carried out. The convener committee directed the officials to club all the audit paras regarding the FC and provide details to the PAC.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2019