Alleged Corruption In ‘MoST’, PAC Orders Investigations

Convener senator presided over PAC subcommittee meeting, which examined audit paragraphs related to the MoST for the fiscal years 2017–18 and 2018–19.

PAC Orders To Investigate Corruption In Building Project Of MoST 

The subcommittee of Public Accounts Committee (PAC)  has ordered an investigation into alleged corruption and irregularities involving millions of rupees in the construction of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) Building Project.

While directing an investigation into the ministry, contractor, and project consultant, the panel requested a report from the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) by March 23.

The convener senator presided over the PAC subcommittee meeting, which examined audit paragraphs related to the Ministry of Science and Technology for the fiscal years 2017–18 and 2018–19.

Examining audit-related irregularities worth millions of rupees in the Ministry of Science and Technology building construction project, audit officials informed the subcommittee that the ministry did not provide records to the FIA during 2017–18 but did so only in the last year.

According to them, the project began with Rs 190 million but grew to Rs 1.5 billion due to delays. The project’s complete audit report has been sent to the FIA for review.

The FIA informed the PAC’s audit subcommittee that it received 25 audit objections from the Auditor General of Pakistan, 12 of which are being investigated.

The secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, who appeared before the subcommittee, stated that the cost increased due to the extension of three floors in the building, in addition to the delay. However, audit officials explained that, in addition to irregularities, there was an element of corruption in the project.

Instead of fining the contractor Rs 200 million for the delay, millions of rupees in additional funds were given to him, the audit officials said.

The PAC’s subcommittee directed the FIA to complete the investigation and submit a detailed report by March 23. Senator, the convener, stated that the collusion of the ministry, contractor, and consultant is visible in the project.

The subcommittee also requested performance reports from all science and technology sub-institutions, as well as progress reports and future plans for the sector.

Meanwhile, the Public Accounts Committee’s Subcommittee directed the Pakistan Halal Authority to improve its performance. According to Mushahid Hussain Syed, the global market for halal products has reached trillions of dollars, and China is considering starting to export halal products.

 

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