KARACHI: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Sindh Assembly on Friday directed the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation administrator and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board managing director to produce all records of the past 15 years pertaining to appointments, promotions, details of contracts and water hydrants.

The PAC meeting, which was presided over by its chairman Saleem Raza Jalbani, considered audit reports of the KMC and the KWSB for the financial years 2010-11 and 2011-12. In the reports, financial indiscipline of millions of rupees and irregularities and violation of rules, including non-mantainance of logbooks of vehicles, were found.

Taking serious notice of the mismanagement and open violation of the rules, the PAC chief took the KWSB and KMC officials to task for failing to produce the record of millions of rupees expenditures.

According to the audit report, the KWSB MD in the year 2010-11 provided an illegal water connection of 10-inch diameter to a beauvrage company at Port Qasim without any sanction from the board at a cost of Rs105 million.

When asked, KWSB MD Misbahuddin Fareed informed the PAC that the approval of the expenditures were not taken from the board for want of its meeting. The PAC ordered an inquiry into the issue.

When the matter related to KWSB ambulances and fuel expenditures was taken up, the KWSB chief said he had been on leave and returned to work on Friday. He, however, promised to the PAC that he would produce all relevant record within the next 15 days.

The KWSB chief also informed the PAC that government institutions, including Governor House and CM House, were defaulter of Rs203 million and despite numerous reminders to them by the water utility the dues had not been cleared. Only current bills were paid, he added. The PAC said no institution was above the law and they ought to clear the dues, as the funds were allocated in the budget for the purpose.

If water supply to citizens could be disconnected over non-payment of dues, the same principle should be applied to the VIPs, too, said a committee member. The PAC decided that letters would be written to government institutions, including Governor House and CM House, to get the water dues paid.

During the consideration of the report, irregularities of over Rs25 million came to light in the project being executed in the Karachi Textile City. Its project director Shakil Qureshi failed to convince the PAC about the financial indiscipline in the project, said the PAC chief.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2016