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October 1, 2020

Misappropriation of PSL funds: IPC secretary asked to carry out probe

Sports

October 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday directed the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) secretary to carry out a thorough investigation into misappropriation of funds during the first two editions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and furnish the report within a month.

The meeting was chaired by opposition leader Rana Tanvir Hussain.

The members opined that special focus should be given to those audit objections where a big amount is involved.

Auditor General of Pakistan officials said locating relevant documents of the first two PSLs was a difficult proposition. Even IPC Secretary Ghufran Memon complained about the Pakistan Cricket Board’s failure to provide all the relevant documents in time to hold the departmental accounts committee meeting.

According to documents, misappropriations worth around Rs2.77 billion were earlier pointed out in the PSL I and II audit. With time, majority of audit objections were settled. However, there are around seven serious observations that are yet to be adjusted.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said he was not aware that he had to answer so many questions. “I was not at the helm of affairs when PSL I and II were held,” he said.

Mani, however, faced criticism with a majority of members including Noor Alam Khan, Khawaja Asif, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Syed Naveed Qamar, Hina Rabbani Khar, Rohail Asghar, Iqbal Mohammad Ali and Malik Aamir Dogar making it clear that whosoever was at the helm of affairs then, the PCB has to come up with satisfactory answers. “You are answerable for every penny you consumed during the PSL I and II,” they said.

“We did not get questions regarding the PCB’s special audit, else we would have come prepared,” Mani told the PAC.

The auditor general told the PAC that three PSL franchises — Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators — were sold for far less and that deprived the PCB of around $1.1 million. Furthermore, the franchise owners were paid an extra Rs209 million.

Mani defended these objections, saying those were tough times. “The PCB wanted to hold the PSL at all cost and as a result some tough decisions were made. We never asked for a penny from the government. On the contrary, we pay taxes,” he said.

MNA Sanaullah Masti Khail said all former PCB chairmen should be summoned to know why PEPRA rules were not followed in auction of franchises. Noor Alam said the AGP was free to conduct an audit of any department or organisation.

PAC Chairman Rana Tanvir got furious when Mani said he only supervised the system and every department in the PCB worked independently. “We cannot tolerate irresponsible attitude from the PCB officials,” he said.