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October 1, 2020

PCB gathering annual losses of over $1m: audit report

Top Story

October 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee was startled with the scale of irregularities and losses when it was found that the Pakistan Cricket Board annually suffered a loss of over $1.1 million on the sale of Pakistan Super League franchises at low price.

It also unearthed financial irregularities of over Rs 2.77 billion during PSL-1 and PSL-2, while the franchise of Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators were auctioned at low prices. It expressed strong annoyance over Chairman PCB Ehsan Mani, who was unable to respond to the queries of PAC, replying that they happened before him and the PCB was an autonomous body.

The Public Accounts Committee ordered a departmental inquiry of financial irregularities in PCB and directed secretary Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination to conduct the audit of the financial irregularities and submit the report within one month to the committee.

The Public Accounts Committee meeting was held under its Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain in which the audit paras related to PSL-1 and PSL-2 of 2018-19 were examined. During the meeting, Secretary Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination Ghafran Memon told the committee that the ministry did not receive the working paper from the PCB due to which they were unable to hold the Departmental Accounting Committee meeting.

Chairman PCB Eshan Mani responded that he was unaware that he would have to face such questions as these matters were related to the period before his appointment. These remarks angered the PAC members and Chairman PAC Rana Tanveer Hussain remarked that being the head of the department, the chairman PCB was a accountable for each penny spent. PAC member Senator Sherry Rehman, while expressing her strong annoyance on the unsatisfactory replies of chairman PCB, said: “You are answerable before the committee and you cannot shy away yourself from responsibilities by merely saying that you do not see these matters.”

Eshan Mani said he received the notice that only mentioned about the audit objections of the PSL but not of the special audit report.

The audit officials told the committee that the audit objections of over Rs2.77 billion relate to PSL and three franchises of PSL were sold at a low price causing a loss of over $1.1 million. Mani replied that the PPRA laws do not apply on the PCB but the situation at that time calls for holding of the PSL. PAC member Syed Naveed Qamar remarked that the PCB may be autonomous but it comes under the purview of the federal government.

The Secretary Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination told the committee that the PPRA has now been amended as previously it was not applicable to the PCB. Sherry Rehman remarked that if the rules of autonomous departments do not have compatibility with the official rules, then the federal rules have the supremacy under the law. “The chairman PCB is answerable to government, its accounting procedure and therefore its rules. It is not above the law," she remarked.