NAB’s unsatisfactory performance irks PAC

By Asim Yasin
May 31, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), while expressing its strong annoyance over the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) while terming its performance as “Unsatisfactory” and summoned NAB Chairman Lt General (Retd) Nazir Ahmed next week along with the team to brief the committee.


The PAC also took strong notice of the absence of the NAB Chairman from the meeting and summoned him again next week and directed that to ensure his presence in the next meeting.The PAC hold its meeting with the chair of its Chairman Noor Alam Khan in which it seeks the briefing on the status of cases referred by the committee to NAB and their compliance status.

NAB Deputy Chairman Zahir Shah represented the NAB in place of NAB Chairman.Noor Alam Khan inquired the absence of NAB Chairman. Deputy Chairman NAB Zahir Shah told the committee that NAB chairman was on visit of Karachi and Sukkur regional offices of the NAB.

Expressing annoyance over his absence, the PAC chairman refused to take the briefing from the NAB deputy chairman and the committee was not satisfied with the performance of NAB so NAB chairman should come in next meeting to brief the committee.

While expressing his strong annoyance over the performance of the NAB, Noor Alam Khan termed the NAB’s performance unsatisfactory, saying that officers of the NAB were getting hefty and huge salaries but its performance is unsatisfactory.

He said the PAC had recovered almost Rs100 billion (Rs99.7 billion) which is more than recoveries claimed by the NAB. The PAC asked NAB for the details of all the cases filed so far and the expenses incurred on these and how many cases NAB made, which cases were disposed of at initial level.

The PAC sought the details from the NAB that how many NAB cases ended in the trial court and how much was spent on these cases. Noor Alam said all these records should be provided to PAC.

PAC member Sheikh Rohail Asghar remarked that if the details come out, everyone would assess the NAB performance as the NAB created cases only to create name and fear among people.

The PAC chairman said instead of catching corrupt people, the NAB has become their facilitator. “The NAB should provide details of each case,” he said. During the meeting, the list of 13 cases sent to the PAC by the NAB is also presented and no progress was made on these cases as are still pending in the NAB in different stages.

While taking the notice on the issue of salaries of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff of PIMS and Polyclinic Hospital Islamabad, PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan sought explanation from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance and directed to issue salaries and pensions equivalent to grade 19 to doctors and nurses. Noor Alam Khan said that doctors and nurses should not be oppressed.

Secretary Health said that these officers were being promoted on the basis of placement for many years, the finance ministry had declared the promotion policy against the rules and after that Grade 17 was allotted to doctors, nurses and paramedical staff. Noor Alam Khan remarked that there will be no compromise on hospitals, education and defence.

The PAC chairman remarked that province of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bank has bankrupted for the first time in history as the teachers were not getting salaries, the treasury is empty. “Did the Chief Secretary also not get salary,” he questioned. He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government took loans of Rs970 billion and financial conditions in KP are not good. Noor Alam Khan asked from the Finance Secretary about the financial problems of KP and asked why did KP go bankrupt.

The finance secretary replied that this could be answered by the provincial finance minister and the finance secretary as we are providing all funds under NFC. “The answer to why the financial situation in the province is bad, PAC chairman knows better,” he said.

In the meanwhile, the PAC expressed its annoyance against not providing list of employees with dual citizenship in ministries, departments and divisions.Noor Alam Khan said many institutions including the Ministry of Commerce, Wapda, Water Resources, Petroleum Division did not provide records of employees with dual citizenship. “I give 15 days time, provide full records related to dual citizenship, otherwise, I will order to stop the salaries of the board members,” he warned.

Member PAC Dr Malik Mukhtar said the Establishment Division should have a record of all these.The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) told the committee that his department was not provided the details by the ministries so the PAC should seek these details directly from ministries.