Various departments plundered Rs 3500 billion

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Lahore: Auditor General of Pakistan’s draft report 2014-2015 detects another mega scam of corruption and embezzlement of more than Rs 3500 billion while the people in the realm of the affairs seem hurling accusations at each other instead of fixing the responsibility.

According to the report, 37 government departments, including ministries and corporations have been found involved in irregularities of billions of rupees.

According to reliable sources, who requested anonymity, the report is lying with the President Mamnoon Hussain and has not been forwarded to the National Assembly from where it has to be referred to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Former Auditor General of Pakistan Buland Akhtar Rana, who was removed from his position for raising shocking details of such embezzlements earlier this year, told News Lens Pakistan that the AGP’s office was not being allowed to perform its constitutional duties.

“Auditor General of Pakistan office is not a government department. It’s a state institution and it should be allowed to work independently,” he said, regretting that the government holds sway on all independent departments to hide its wrongdoings.

Rana claimed that the government passed a bill overnight to change the Rules of Business under which the AGP Office was affiliated with the Finance Ministry which is holding back the audit reports. “We are pressurized and allured at times to stay away from documenting the corruption in government departments,” he alleged.

According to the details available with the News Lens Pakistan, the amount of irregularities in various government’s  departments is listed as Rs 163 billion in defence sector, Rs 1054 billion in WAPDA, Rs 541 billion in Federal Board of Revenue, Rs 21 billion in Pakistan Railways, Rs 120 in Pakistan Telecommunication, Rs 5 billion in Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), Rs 229 billion in Petroleum Ministry, Rs 12 billion in Zakat Fund, Rs 720 million in Medical and Dental Council, Rs 100 million in PMDC and nine million rupees in Pakistan Post Office.

The other related sectors found in the exploitation of national exchequer are: 16 development authorities with irregularities of Rs 44 billion; 81 public sector enterprises found in irregularities of Rs 619 billion; and departments related to Foreign Affairs embezzled more than one billion rupee.

Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf’s Leader Asad Omar averred that such mega scams had all the potential to topple the government. “The government is entirely oblivious to the miseries of the people and is busy in plundering the national exchequer,” he said.

When contacted Public Accounts Committee’s Member Junaid Anwar, who has been very pro-efficient in the rules of business, he claimed that not the ministers and politicians were behind these mega scams, it’s a game of bureaucracy. “Bureaucrats are more corrupt and are behind massive embezzlements, as the real power lies with them and they are running the show and calling the shots,” he added.

On the role of PAC when it comes to fixing responsibilities in the wake of such audit reports, Anwar said the Committee had recovered billions of rupees in many cases which came under its scrutiny.

“Sometimes, it is difficult to fix the responsibility because such massive irregularities are done with the connivance of internal people in the department and they all play their part in covering up each other for that matter,” he regretted.

The report comes at a time when the army chief, General Raheel Sharif, has expressed his reservations about governance.

Opposition leader Khurshid Shah also took a shot at the government, saying it should improve its governance. Shah said the government should take the hint and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should rectify the cabinet.

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