ISLAMABAD: The delay in completion of State Life Tower has cost Rs823.5 million to the exchequer, the audit report revealed.

According to the audit report for the last fiscal year of the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan (SLICP), if the tower completed in time the amount could have been earned as rental income.

The State Life Tower was supposed to be completed in 2013.

The audit report pointed out that General Financial Rules (GFR) states that every government officer should realise fully that he would be held responsible for any loss sustained by the government through fraud or negligence on his part.

During audit of SLICP, it was observed that PC-1 of the project was awarded to M/s Moin & Sons (Private) Limited in April, 2010. The date of completion of work was May 31, 2013.

The overall cost of the project was Rs1.35 billion. The review of PC-1 revealed that the project was conceived to be an iconic landmark of the federal capital and it had been planned to respond to the growing demands of national and multi-national companies.

However, due to non-completion of the project in time, the SLICP could not rent out its premises, which resulted Rs823.5 million loss.

Audit was of the view that due to management’s negligence and poor supervision the project could not be completed in time and the corporation suffered the loss.

The matter was reported to the SLICP management by the audit authorities in October 2018.

The management in its reply stated that the project had been delayed due to the factors like non-availability of gas and non-functioning of Board of Directors (BOD) in the past.

SLICP explained another reason for the delay in construction was that in the absence of BoD the SLICP was unable to follow procurement and other financial rules.

The audit report however stated that that the project has not yet been completed despite delay of more than seven years.

SLICP’s stance that due to hindrances like non-availability of gas and non-functioning of BoD during the period of delay is not tenable, the audit report observed adding that it seems there was lack of pro-activeness and vigilance which has been causing delay.

During February 2021 meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) it was revealed that two top insurance companies, SLICP and National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL), were without chairpersons for over two years.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2021

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