Javaid-ur-Rahman and Imran Mukhtar
ISLAMABAD Skipping the major allegations levelled against the Rector of National University of Modern Language (NUML) in the Audit Report regarding misappropriation in award of scholarships, the varsity authorities deliberated only 6 objections of minor nature before the Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) of HEC, a move apparently to save the Rectors skin.
Investigation carried out by TheNation revealed the deal which had kept a guarded secret by varsity administration. It has been revealed that the NUML administration had deposited a hefty account of its 'Own Income (income in the form of students fee) in a local bank on behalf of its Director Finance, Tufail Khalil, who had been trying his best to strike a deal with the auditors to save the skin of the NUML Rector.
The sources disclosed that a 'close relative of Director Finance was presently working in the bank on key post and an amount of Rs100 million had been deposited in the form of Own Income of the varsity to establish good professional repute of that relative. It has also been learnt that 10pc amount as commission from the total deposited amount would benefit Director Finance, as he would get it through his banker relative.
The sources further claimed that the existing rules and regulations of NUML had not been followed to maintain the account with the said bank as the bank was not listed in category A. Likewise, no bids from the banks through advertisement were demanded as required per rules.
The actual audit and inspection report on the accounts of National University of Modern Languages (NUML) for the year 2007-09, contained 17 Paras (objections) of the auditors whereas the NUML administration in connivance with the auditors did not discuss 11 major allegations mainly against the Rector, the sources privy to the meeting told TheNation.
The meeting of DAC of Higher Education Commission (HEC) held on January 7 was told that remaining objections interalia misappropriation in grant of foreign scholarships, 2nd time reappointment of Rector in violation of the NUML ordinance and others had been settled. It merits mentioning here that less objectionable Paras were sent from the auditors for discussion in DAC meeting, which is the discretionary power of auditors and the objections of serious nature were dropped by the auditors in connivance with the Finance Department of the varsity.
The sources said that Kamran Jahangir Director General (DG) NUML while representing the varsity in the DAC meeting discussed only six objections and told the committee that other major objections of auditors had been settled down.
The 6 Paras that were discussed in committee meeting included Recovery of Rs620,549 on account of remuneration paid for the evening programme; Unauthorized retention of Rs3.11 4 million on account of fine for shortage of attendance; Irregular deduction of 75 percent tax rebate of Rs651,245; Irregular award of contract costing Rs10.352 million; Irregularities in executing the project entitled Construction of multi-purpose sports gymnasium of Rs28.894 million and Irregular appointment of DG NUML.
Meanwhile, the sources said that these major allegations mainly against Rector NUML had yet to be addressed by the administration. The objections skipped in the meeting included Irregularities in executing the project entitled Linkage of Pakistani universities with foreign Universities; Irregularities in construction work; Unauthorized promotion; Irregular appointments; Weak internal control and risky transaction, non-deduction of income tax of Rs454,405; Irregular appointment during ban period and appointments without advertisement.
The sources claimed that Director Finance NUML, Tufail Khalil was facilitating the Rector Brig (R) Aziz Ahmed Khan to save his skin and was trying to persuade the auditors to drop allegations against the Rector.
When contacted Tufail Khalil, Director Finance, NUML, he refused to comment on the issue and disconnected the call without uttering any word. It merits mentioning here that Sohail Naqvi, Executive Director HEC who heads DAC, when contacted told TheNation that every single Para was discussed in the meeting.
As my memory serves me, no Para was dropped in the meeting, he added.