Friday September 30, 2022

Rs1,200 bn irregularities in corona relief: PAC seeks audit report from finance ministry, accounts committee

June 04, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Thursday sought an audit report from the finance ministry and the National Accounts Committee, which had identified serious irregularities in coronavirus relief package.

The PAC held its meeting with its Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain in the chair and examined the audit para related to Ministry of Water resources with regard to Wapda for the year 2019-20, as well as the relief package on coronavirus. It sought the audit report of over Rs1,200 billion corona relief package from the finance ministry and the National Accounts Committee.

Auditor General for Pakistan Javed Jehangir told the committee that the government had announced a relief package of Rs1,200 billion to combat corona and till June 30, 2020, Rs354 billion had been released and audited. “I cannot give a briefing on the contents of the audit report at the moment,” he said. The PAC chairman said it seemed the finance ministry had been withholding the report.

Examining the para related to irregularities in Dasu Dam, the audit officials told the committee that Wapda had released Rs4.5 billion to the contractor in advance, though land had not been acquired for the project yet.

The secretary, Ministry of Water and Resources, told the committee that the payment had to be made to the contractor.

PAC Member Syed Naveed Qamar asked that when the land was not acquired then how the contractor could starts work. The Secretary replied that the acquiring of the land was not easy.

The Audit officials told the committee that undue benefit was given to the contractor in Dasu hydropower project and Rs4.5 billion were released to him under the head of mobilisation advance, but the contractor delayed starting the work.

Rana Tanveer remarked that then we should also leave politics and become a contractor. “We refer this matter to the FIA,” he said. The PAC expressed its strong annoyance for not giving satisfactory replies on Dasu Dam and directed the secretary of Ministry of Water Resources to bring complete details of the project.

Examining another audit para relating to Wapda Colony at Thor valley, the audit officials told the committee that Wapda gave the contract for designing of the colony to DBC consultants, and due to flawed design, the flood in 2015 caused damages to the colony. The audit officials told the committee that the colony was constructed with Rs5.62 billion and the consultant firm was responsible for the loss.

The told the committee that Wapda received only Rs118 million from the firm on account of losses. The PAC chairman asked as to why the federal secretaries and top officials defend the corruption of their predecessors.

While examining the audit paras relating to Ministry of Water Resources, the PAC expressed annoyance over irregularities during the tenure of the PTI government and sought the record from Wapda for awarding the contract of Mohmand Dam to Chinese company and company of Advisor to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood-- CGGC-DESCON JV.

Chairman PAC Rana Tanveer Hussain remarked that they (PML-N govt) were giving the contract of Mohmand Dam for Rs280 billion, but later the contract was awarded to Chinese company and Company of Razak Dawood for Rs324 billion. The chairman PAC sought the complete record and details of award of contract for Mohmand Dam to Chinese company and Abdul Razak Dawood company.