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Thursday April 25, 2024

PAC orders removal of defence deals from website

By Asim Yasin
August 04, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Thursday decided to ensure the confidentiality of defence contractors’ names and details and ordered the removal of their information from the website to prevent potential sabotage by the country’s enemies.

Chairing a PAC meeting, Chairman Noor Alam Khan said that revealing information about these contractors could be exploited by countries like India, leading to the sabotage of defence agreements. Considering the issues that have arisen in various defence deals, it was deemed necessary to keep the details of all deals off the public website.

Furthermore, due to the absence of the federal water resources secretay who was engaged in foreign commitments, the PAC meeting had to be adjourned.

In response to the situation, the committee instructed writing a letter of displeasure to the prime minister regarding the matter.

The meeting was intended to examine the remaining audit paras of the Ministry of Water Resources for the financial years 2016 to 2019, as well as the audit paras of the financial year 2019-20, but it could not proceed due to the secretary’s absence.

Chairman Noor Alam Khan expressed annoyance, saying that on some occasions, the secretary is absent, and on others, the WAPDA chairman requests adjournment. He pointed out that the real authority lies with the secretary of water resources, who serves as the principal accounting officer of the ministry.

The Chairman expressed dissatisfaction with the Ministry’s performance, stating that their projects have been ongoing for the past 20 years without completion. He questioned the lack of action against officers responsible for such negligence, citing the example of the Kachhi Canal, which began in 2002 but remains unfinished.

PAC member Sheikh Rohail Asghar emphasised the seriousness of the matter and inquired about the departmental actions taken in response. Meanwhile, PAC member Barjees Tahir questioned who would be accountable for the delays.

Chairman Noor Alam Khan highlighted that the Departmental Audit Committee has ordered inquiries into numerous irregularities, but the inquiries have remained unresolved for years. He expressed concern about officers on deputation overstaying their tenures and directed that those who have completed their deputation period be immediately sent back to their respective departments.