PAC asks tourism minister to return official vehicle
MABAD - US$153.729 million loans lent by the government of Pakistan during the period of 1988-98 are not paid off by some eight least or underdeveloped countries.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Monday revealed that 14 loans of amount US$153.729 million were not paid off to the government of Pakistan by countries including Bangladesh, Sudan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Laos, Guniea Bissau, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
The PAC discussed Audit Reports 2006-07 of financial year 2005-06 of Economic Affairs Division, Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Livestock and Ministry of Tourism in its meeting held at Parliament House under the chair of Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
According to official documents presented before PAC, Pakistan had lent US$118.813 million to Iraq, US$6.785 million to Bangladesh, US$23.252m to Sudan, US$2.610 to Guniea Bissau, US$2.269m to Tajikistan, while US$8.961 million outstanding amount to Kazakhstan was under reconciliation.
During discussion of audit paras of Economic Affairs Division (EAD), the audit official told the meeting that EAD at different levels had tried to recover the amount but failed due to the financial crises being faced by some of these countries. Yasmeen Rehman directed the EAD Secretary to resolve the issue and recovery should be made through Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The PAC also discussed the issue of illegal use of Pakistan Tourism Development Cooperation (PTDC) vehicle by Federal Tourism Minister Maulana Attaur Rehman and directed Secretary Tourism Ali Arif to take back vehicle from the Minister immediately and submit report to the committee within two months.
The PAC Chairman said it was a clear violation of rules and regulations and asked the Secretary if the Minister wanted to use the vehicle, he would have to take approval from competitive authority such as the Prime Minster in that regard.
"The PAC will not object even over the use of helicopter by the Minster if he takes approval from competitive authority. Under law, a minister has no authority to use vehicle having capacity more than 1600 CC," Nisar said. He, however, said the Ministry had authority to purchase 1600 CC vehicle.