PAC informed: PTV caused Rs85m losses due to non-implementation of accords
ISLAMABAD: The senior management of Pakistan Television (PTV) Corporation caused Rs 85 million losses to the corporation by not timely implementing agreements signed with foreign companies.
This was informed by the officials of the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) in a briefing to a sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which met here under the chairmanship of Sardar Asiq Hussian Gopang to review and discuss the audit paras of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) Secretariat of the year 2009-10.
Federal Secretary for Information Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera briefing the panel said that PTV in 2006 made various appointments on merit but since then no appointment has been made on merit, adding that senior PTV management was making appointment against various posts on just plain papers by violating set rules and regulations.
He added that in 2006 PTV provided best training to the people appointed against various positions but majority of them after getting the training left the national television as a result the corporation suffered financial losses of millions of rupees.
The panel was informed that former chairman National Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Nepra) was appointed on a salary of Rs 2.3 million per month. Sukhera added that almost 72 per cent of funds allocated for PTV were being spent on paying the salaries of the staff, adding that under such a situation no significant fiscal space is available for bringing modern changes in the set-up.
Director General (DG) Radio Pakistan, Shafqat Jalil informed the panel that the national broadcaster is receiving money from the government on installments for the purchase of latest transmitters to improve the quality of the service.
He added that the NESPAK has declined to install the transmitters for Radio Pakistan. The panel directed the officials concerned to take up the issue in departmental accounts committee (DAC).
The secretary information said that till the corruption cases in Ministry of Information and attached departments are not forwarded to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for proper investigations, no solution is available to the persisting problems.
The panel directed the secretary information to complete detailed investigation into the above matters within a month and submit the report with the committee.
Member Committee Azam Swati said that he has submitted a motion in the National Assembly on Absar Alam’s appointment as chairman Nepra of such a hefty salary as well as massive corrupt practices in Ministry of Information and other attached departments.
Member Committee Sheikh Rohail Asghar responding to Swati said if a politician, especially of the ruling party, is involved in such practices, the NAB, FIA and other institutes take up the issue and resolve it within days, but here technocrats and bureaucrats are involved so no action is evident.
Rohail Asghar also said that as the secretary ministry of information was not competent authority to appoint chairman PEMRA, therefore he has no authority to reply on the appointment.
An exchange of harsh word was just to start between Sheikh Rohail Asghar and Azam Swati but Rasheed Godial of MQM interrupted and said that the PAC was not a forum to discuss such issues as all the members present in the meeting are attending it to discuss audit reports.
It was revealed before the panel that multimillion rupees were embezzled in FATA under water supply schemes but on ground no work was done. The audit officials said that the officials of FATA Secretariat measured and billed 6 water supply projects of multimillion rupees within one day which in reality is impossible.
Replying to the audit objection, the additional secretary Fata Secretariat said that the department has already started inquiry against the SDO concerned, adding that the Fata Secretariat directed the department concerned to recover Rs 3.5 million from the contractor involved in the scam. He also said that the government has also directed the relevant officials to recover 10 per cent of the project costs from three officials involved in the irregularity, but these recommendations were rejected by the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Pervaiz Khattak.
The panel was further informed that Peshawar High Court (PHC) has already directed the government to recover the embezzled amount by the contractors as well as officials of the Fata Secretariat. The committee members were shocked to listen to the revelation that the KPK CM is not implementing PHC orders and is also creating hurdles in recovery of huge national financial resources.