ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday expressed displeasure over ongoing renovation of the Parliament House for upcoming moot of the OIC and termed Rs125 million spending on it as wastage of funds.

Interestingly, the Chairman Senate and Speaker National Assembly also want to get their respective offices decorated in the ‘controversial’ renovation of Parliament for the meeting as members belonging to both treasury and opposition benches strongly criticised the so-called beautification.

CDA’s member engineering Syed Munawar Hussain Shah, giving a detailed presentation to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on renovation of Parliament House, revealed that the offices of the custodians of both the houses of Parliament are being renovated from the Rs125 million budget earmarked for overhauling of the main hall where the OIC’s foreign ministers will be meeting on March 22-23.

Shah told the PAC that the speaker’s office Lounge was being upgraded because the OIC delegates planned to visit his chamber.

Similarly, Shah further said the Senate chairman had also asked for renovation of corridor of his office and replacement of tiles.

The PAC Chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain as well as other members of the committee expressed displeasure over the spending of millions of rupees on renovation work and replacing quality furniture with substandard ones.

Hussain criticised Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani for blocking not only the corridor of the Parliament House but the access of parliamentarians from main building to the library.

He asked the National Assembly secretary to take up this matter with the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and the glass doors be removed to give free access to everyone within the Parliament.

At the outset, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood told the PAC that Rs125 million has been allocated for the renovation since the committee was initially told that the total amount earmarked for this work was Rs700 million.

Khawaja Mohammad Asif termed it a show-off and said the Saudi government allocated normal sized office for the principal seat of OIC in Jeddah.

He and other PAC members were of the view that the venue should have been the Convention Center for this moot.

CDA chairman told the committee that he had also proposed the same venue.

PAC chairman ruled that in future such meetings will be arranged in the Convention Center or hotels.

The PAC members suggested that the up-gradation of Parliament House should have been done while keeping in mind the requirement of the members of the National Assembly and the Senate.

The lawmakers complained that the CDA had failed to perform its responsibilities to maintain the Parliament House and Parliament Lodges.

According to Khawaja Asif said that rodents roam around the Parliament Lodges and have started biting the inhabitants.

CDA chairman Amir Ali Ahmed proposed outsourcing Parliament Lodges’ repair and maintenance to private contractors.

He proposed that the CDA might be relieved from maintenance work of Parliament House from the next fiscal year since there were complaints of quality work.

He said the CDA spent major chunk of funds meant for maintenance of Lodges to the salaries of employees.

PTI’s lawmaker Munaza Hassan snubbed the CDA for initiating the renovation work without taking the relevant committee of the house into confidence.

“Should we start demolishing CDA’s offices on our own as this was not their mandate to execute this job in Parliament building in such a manner,” she said.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

More pledges
Updated 25 May, 2024

More pledges

There needs to be continuity in economic policies, while development must be focused on bringing prosperity to the masses.
Pemra overreach
25 May, 2024

Pemra overreach

IT seems, at best, a misguided measure and, at worst, an attempt to abuse regulatory power to silence the media. A...
Enduring threat
25 May, 2024

Enduring threat

THE death this week of journalist Nasrullah Gadani, who succumbed to injuries after being attacked by gunmen, is yet...
IMF’s unease
Updated 24 May, 2024

IMF’s unease

It is clear that the next phase of economic stabilisation will be very tough for most of the population.
Belated recognition
24 May, 2024

Belated recognition

WITH Wednesday’s announcement by three European states that they intend to recognise Palestine as a state later...
App for GBV survivors
24 May, 2024

App for GBV survivors

GENDER-based violence is caught between two worlds: one sees it as a crime, the other as ‘convention’. The ...