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PAC to work diligently without any discrimination, says Shahbaz after chairing first meeting

December 28, 2018

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The leader of the opposition says the PAC members "would work as a team, under the ambit of law". —PID
The leader of the opposition says the PAC members "would work as a team, under the ambit of law". —PID

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Friday chaired the first meeting of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and said the committee members "will work diligently and without any discrimination".

"The PAC members would work as a team, under the ambit of law," Sharif said, adding that the former members of the committee had done a great job.

Briefing the meeting, Additional Secretary PAC said that audit reports of the last eight years are pending before the committee.

On December 13, after a long impasse, the government had agreed to let Shahbaz Sharif chair the PAC — a longstanding demand by opposition benches in the NA.

The first meeting was attended by Raja Pervez Ashraf, Naveed Qamar, Raja Riaz, Fakhar Imam, Nasrullah Dreshak, Noor Alam Khan, Sherry Rehman, Riaz Fatyana, Iqbal Muhammad Ali, Semi Aizdi, Rana Tanveer, Hina Rabbani Khar, and Shiraz Mehmood.

During the meeting, PAC National Wing Secretary Iftikhar Raheem Khan gave a detailed briefing about the working of the committee.

He said that from 2010 until now, there were 18,043 audit para's pending to which Qamar asked whether these would be taken up.

In his presentation, the secretary said that during Chaudhry Nisar's time 440 meetings were held and Rs117 billion were recovered. In Nadeem Afzal Chan's time, 148 meetings were held and Rs30 billion were recovered, additionally, 33 cases were sent to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and 30 were sent to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

In Syed Khursheed Shah's time, an overview of seven to eight audit reports was completed. Moreover, 168 cases were sent to NAB and 56 cases to FIA, meanwhile, the committee recovered Rs355 billion.

During today's meeting, an overview of the Royal Palm Golf Club Lahore and other cases were discussed. The chairman said that the committee should be briefed about these cases on Monday.

PML-N lawmaker Sheikh Rohail Asghar asked what the standard was for sending cases to NAB, in response to which the committee secretary said 168 cases were sent to NAB by the previous committee.

Sharif requested complete details of NAB cases and added that in the next meeting all details should be provided of cases sent to NAB and FIA by the previous PAC.

The committee asked for a reply on cases pending with NAB by Tuesday.

Dreshak said that the committee should not give an impression that it was putting pressure on some institution to which Sharif said that no such impression will be given adding that NAB had said themselves that they would give a briefing on Tuesday.

The committee members opposed the presence of the FIA deputy director and demanded that only senior ranking officers, grade-20 or above should be sent to represent their respective departments.

The chairman said that on Tuesday, three to four sub-committees of the PAC will be formed and citizens complaints will also come under discussion in the committee.