Quetta: Balochistan Provincial Assembly Secretariat has ordered probe into leak of official documents of assembly which became a source of criticism for the assembly.
In an order issued on 9th June, Balochistan Assembly constituted an inquiry committee with Mr. Tariq Baloch, Director Publications in Chair. This committee will probe that how official documents of Balochistan Assembly were leaked on 3 separate counts, which proved to be a source of embarrassment.
In Balochistan Right to Information (RTI) legislation is not effective and the official documents leaked by officers and clerks are the main source of information used by journalists to file stories.
First leaked documents were the minutes of Finance Committee meeting held on 19th February. Point 41 of the minutes was about authorizing payment of Rs. 2 million to artist Akram Dost Baloch for designing Monogram of Assembly way back in 1997.
Second instance of leaked documents were the agenda items of Finance Committee of Assembly on 2nd June. In these documents Secretary Assembly has directed finance department to allocate funds of Rs. 31,145,136 for 37 new posts that would be created in next fiscal year.
The rationale for creating these posts was challenged by critics, once this document was leaked. It was alleged that the proposed posts would be used to recruit kith and Kin of assembly members.
Third instance of leakage which was biggest source of criticism on social media where the details of estimated costs of repair of Mercedes Benz car of Speaker were revealed.
According to the leaked document, Balochistan Assembly had paid Rs. 2,831,369 to Shah Nawaz Limited in Karachi for repair of the official car of speaker. According to rules of business there are three problems with this payment.
No tender was issued by the assembly for repair. Secondly, assembly secretariat can’t make direct payments for expenses when the amount exceeds 100,000 and lastly this expense item was not approved from finance committee of assembly which is must.
Balochistan Assembly secretariat was criticized for alleged financial irregularities due to the leaked documents.
Balochistan Assembly could not be reached for a comment.
It’s believed that Balochistan assembly has ordered probe as a reaction to the serve criticism that it faced.
An interesting thing to note is that the order of constituting an inquiry committee was leaked the next day on social media.
“Rather than giving explanation of alleged financial irregularities, Balochistan assembly is cracking down on the leakers of documents to ensure that in future their irregularities remain hidden,” said a source who is privy to the matter.
Last Secretary of Balochistan Assembly, Azam Daavi, was sacked by speaker on charges of irregularities in appointments, only a few weeks ago.