PAC recommends to provide subsidised commodities only to poor at USC outlets

ISLAMABAD      -   The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday recommended not to provide subsidized commodities to every citizen at utility stores but only to the marginalised and poor segments of the society. The committee which met at the Parliament House under the chair of Noor Alam Khan was briefed on Utilities Stores Corporation by Managing Director of USC Muhammad Ali Amir. The committee members expressed their anger over the MD USC and said that subsidised items are being sold in the open market in bulk quantity from where these are being sold further on high prices in the retail market. The MD informed the committee that at present the subsidised essential commodities are being provided on utility stores to every citizen but explained that a single individual having a national identity card is allowed to get a certain amount of things every week to avoid bulk purchasing. When the committee members asked the MD USC that whether there is an automated mechanism to ensure that a person is getting an allowed amount of subsidized items from a single store only, he replied we are in the process to make our system online but at present no such system is in place at all stores across the country. Criticising the policy the Chairman PAC said that powerful and wealthy people are also getting subsidized items from utility stores which are meant for the poor and marginalised people alone. Majority of the members seconded the point raised by the Chairman PAC and the committee unanimously recommended to stop provision of subsidised items to every citizen and directed to bring a system in which only targeted segments of the society could be allowed to get benefit of this subsidy. They also directed the MD to prepare an online system to make a check and balance on supply chain of the utilities stores to ensure stoppage of the sale of subsidized items in the market. Meanwhile, the committee also expressed its displeasure over the affairs of different public limited companies working under the Ministry of Industries. Senator Mohsin Aziz Khan commented that the companies are just a waste of resources and a source of money making for few people. He said the companies have failed to perform the purpose for which they were created. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla supporting the point raised by Mohsin Aziz said these companies should be closed as they have failed to serve their purpose. The PAC after considering multiple audit objections related to the Furniture Pakistan Private Limited, one of the companies working under MOI, regarding irregularities and embezzlements directed the Auditor General of Pakistan to conduct a special audit to check the performance of these companies to reach a conclusion. On the other hand, the chief executive officers of the automobile industry once again did not appear before the committee. However representatives of only a few companies were present in the meeting.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt