ISLAMABAD - The Public Accountants Committee (PAC) on Wednesday showed concern over the import of expensive furnace oil for power generation calling for utilization of hydel power in Gilgit Baltistan region that could help produce 27,000 megawatts.
The sub-committee of PAC under the chair of MNA Shafqat Mehmood raised objections over the import of what he said expensive furnace oil for power generation saying the circular debt had reached Rs400 billion despite payment of Rs500 billion.
Shafqat said that use of coal for power generation had caused severe pollution crisis in China arguing Pakistan should not follow the practice and should instead opt for clean coal for electricity production.
“Why should we opt for other resources when we have enough water resources for power generation? We follow China for using coal but remember that the thick clouds of pollution in Beijing have made the sun invisible,” Shafqat, who is also a PTI stalwart, asserted. The meeting was attended by Principal Accounting Officer Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Affairs Shahid Ullah Beg. The meeting discussed financial irregularities in four schemes of water supply in the area carried out during 1991-95.
Audit officials on the occasion informed that Rs10 million losses were detected when Natco was given for transportation of wheat and sugar during 1995-96. But it was clarified later that the Northern Areas Transport Company offers subsidies to sectarian-hit areas where no other transport service could operate. It was suggested that the transport service should be converted into public-private partnership so that losses could be controlled as the transport service had been making huge losses due to the subsidy given by government.
Beg said subsidy on wheat had been offered to Gilgit Baltistan people by former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto adding 46 flour mills were operating in the area out of which majority were illegal and action had been taken in this regard.
The audit officials revealed that during 1998-99, contract for water and power was given 31 percent above the tender rate that caused loss of Rs10.5 million to national exchequer despite the fact that the project was neither conceived, not its feasibility was prepared at all. To a question, Shafqat said there should be a proper mechanism for allowing humanitarian organisations and NGOs to work in the country and should not be allowed by taking bribe from them.