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Sherry says whole amount not submitted to exchequer


ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday sought details from the National Accountability Bureau about Rs821 billion recoveries within a week and directed the Auditor General of Pakistan for an audit of NAB recoveries made in last one year.

The meeting of the Public Accounts Committee was held with Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain in the chair in which the audit paras related to the Ministry of Railways for the year 2019-20 were also examined.

PAC Member Senator Sherry Rehman raised the issue of failure of NAB to deposit of Rs821b it recovered, in the national exchequer. She informally asked the audit officials that the Senate Finance Committee has been told that NAB had recovered Rs821 billion. Where is the money recovered by NAB going, as out of Rs821 billion, Rs6.5 billion is with the Finance Ministry, she asked. “Can you tell us where the money has gone and doesn’t this recovery come under the Finance Division.”

The audit officials said that NAB maintains its own accounts with the permission of the Finance Division. “The matter should be referred to the Finance Division,” the audit officials told the Public Accounts Committee. Member Committee Khawaja Asif said who owns the recoveries and whether they were owned by the government.

Chairman PAC Rana Tanveer Hussain remarked that NAB recovers the amount from the fraud committed against the public and distributes that among the victims of the fraud, while the recovery rate of damage to the national exchequer is very low. “Now, if the NAB has recovered Rs530 billion, the amount of damage to the national exchequer may not be even Rs30 billion,” he said. Similarly, he said, the money of bank defaulters is distributed among the victims of the housing society frauds, while the recovery percentage of the government corruption is very low. PAC member Noor Alam said the NAB should be audited. “We, the politicians, support the NAB and make compromises,” he said. He remarked that the NAB keeps 20 percent of the recovered amount.

He said whenever he wanted to convene a meeting of the sub-committee of the PAC with reference to NAB, the meetings were not allowed and cancelled. Khawaja Muhammad Asif asked where was the amount recovered by the UK’s National Crime Agency, as 180 million pounds is not a small amount.

PAC Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain directed the PAC Secretariat to write a letter to the NAB, asking in which accounts the recoveries of Rs821 billion had been deposited. He also directed the audit of the recoveries made by the NAB in one year.

While examining the audit paras of the Ministry of Railways, it was revealed that out of 114 audit objections of Railway Division, not a single case has been settled in the departmental accounting committee.

The DG Audit said 99 objections have been deferred while five cases are in the court and five objections will be considered here. The PAC chairman directed the Audit official and the Secretary Ministry of Railways, who is Principal Accounting Officer of the Ministry, to come up with a formula in this regard so that these issues could be resolved.

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