ISLAMABAD - After the 2010 floods, Pakistan faced the worst humanitarian crisis of its history that affected not only millions of people in different areas, but a number of irregularities also came on surface in the relief and reconstruction work.
Though, a large number of wrongdoings due to enormous destructions were overlooked, yet Rs 1,000 million (one billion) unauthorised contribution to the Prime Minister Flood Relief Fund, among other violations, was pointed out by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP).
The audit report for the year 2011-12, a copy of which is available with TheNation, revealed that the Workers’ Welfare Fund (WWF) Islamabad made a payment of Rs 1000 million to the Prime Minister Flood Relief Fund for the help of flood-hit areas on September 1, 2010.
According to the audit, the WWF is a welfare organisation, which depends on the contributions of industries/factories for providing residential and other facilities to poor workers. Thus, the contribution of Rs 1000 million was against the mandate and authority of the WWF.
The report says the audit held that the violation of the rules and regulation occurred due to non-adherence to the rules and weak internal controls.
The audit pointed out the alleged unauthorised move in September 2011, after which the WWF replied that payment was made with the approval of the governing body for rehabilitation of the flood-affected workers. However, the report said that reply was not found satisfactory because such contribution was not covered under the purposes defined in the cited rules.
The matter was also discussed in the Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) meeting held on January 17, 2012, wherein the committee held that the payment of donation was out of the domain of the WWF governing body; therefore, a waiver from the ministry and the finance division was required as a special dispensation.
The audit report further revealed that the compliance of DAC’s directive was not conveyed to audit till the finalisation of the report as it recommended execution of instructions as earlier as possible.
It is relevant to mention that as per the notification of the WWF, the fund would reportedly mobilise resources and pro-actively render a helping hand in the relief efforts to the people affected by the floods. The proceeds on account of Prime Ministers Relief Fund 2010 and payments into the aforesaid fund would be received at all branches of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), all treasuries branches of National Bank of Pakistan and other schedule banks.
The fund may receive donations from both domestic, international donors and contributions from abroad, which will be received at all the branches of above referred banks.
In other foreign countries, contributions will be received at Pakistan’s missions and remitted to SBP. The accounts of fund will be maintained by the Account General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) Islamabad, the notification says.
The 2010 floods in Pakistan has been rated as greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history with more people affected than the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti combined.