ISLAMABAD, June 21: At a time when the Pakistan Railways was suffering from a serious financial crisis, the ministry of railways appeared less concerned about its meagre resources and bought two costly vehicles before the purchase was due, said a report.

The Auditor-General Pakistan (AGP) said in the report covering Pakistan Railways’ accounts for financial year 2010-11 that the ministry had purchased vehicles worth Rs2.77 million for use by the federal minister for railways and spent Rs4.013 million on account of POL and CNG.

According to the report, the secretary of the railways board certified to the AGP that two vehicles were purchased by the ministry in violation of rules and regulation.

One Toyota Corolla Saloon 1600cc bought in 2004 was used for less than seven years before it was replaced by a new Toyota Corolla Altis 1800cc at a cost of Rs1.885 million. This was described as an irregular purchase, plus the old car was not condemned as it continues to remain under use of officers.

Another vehicle, a Toyota Corolla 1800cc, was purchased for the minister at a cost of Rs1.885 million, without condemnation of the old car which remained under the use of officials.

According to the Staff Car Rules 1980, the life fixed for replacement of a vehicle is six years or 200,000km for small cars and seven years or 250,000kms for medium cars whichever is earlier. Rules of the Pakistan Railways General Code say:

“Every public officer should exercise the same vigilance in respect of expenditure incurred from government revenues as a person of ordinary prudence would exercise in respect of the expenditure of his own money.”

The AGP report also showed that five extra staff cars were allotted to the minister. The action was irregular and against rules and an amount of Rs2.643 million was incurred on account of POL and CNG.

Moreover, an amount of Rs1.370 million was wrongfully incurred by Railcop on POL and maintenance of vehicles used by the minister and chairman/secretary railways over a period from 2007 to 2010.

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