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December 7, 2018

PAC meeting: officials’ unpreparedness angers speaker

Peshawar

December 7, 2018

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ghani sent the officers of Law and Finance departments out of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting on Thursday and directed the administrative secretaries of both the departments to come to the committee meeting with full preparation today (Friday).

The speaker, who is chairman of the PAC, while chairing a meeting of the committee, expressed anger over the unpreparedness of the officials and said that sending such “irresponsible” people to the meeting was nothing but wasting the time of the committee.

He issued directives that secretaries of the law and finance departments should appear before the PAC today with full preparation, saying that negligence and irresponsible behaviour in the accountability of public money would not be tolerated.

Coming to such an important meeting without preparation is ironic, he added.

Earlier in the PAC meeting held the other day, the Health Department and Power and Energy Development Organisation (Pedo)’s audit report for fiscal year 2014-15 came under discussion wherein irregularities were found in the payments and purchase of medicines of Sarhad Hospital Peshawar and the reply from the department was found unsatisfactory.

The matter was referred to a sub-committee under the supervision of Inayatullah Khan and Babar Salim Swati to further investigate the case and present the report within 30 days.

The case of embezzlement of about Rs1.2 million in the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH)’s Out-Patient Department (OPD) admission slips and receiving fee from kidney patients through illegal receipts and reusing the used gadgets was referred to the sub-committee comprising of Khushdil Khan, Dr Sumera Shams and Fakhre Jehan to submit the report within 30 days and make sure legal action and recovery from the staff involved in the embezzlement.

The Public Accounts Committee also discussed the audit of Pedo about hiring of office building in Peshawar on government expenses for Daral Khwar Hydro Project before launching of work on it.

However, the department’s reply that the office had been established for the project requirements and written proofs of expenditures presented to the committee was found satisfactory.

In the light of audit report, the Pedo has failed in the recovery from Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), which led to a difference of Rs1312.265 million in the audit. For this the PAC directed authorities concerned to take up the issue with the federal government after consultation with the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee.

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