ISLAMABAD: The Planning Commission expressed its inability to âmasterâ the National Logistics Unit (NLC) and suggested that the cabinet division place it under the control of the Ministry of Communications.
Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, the secretary of the committee, recently informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the NLC was outside of his ministry’s control because “they do not share details even on audit-related paragraphs during meetings. of the departmental accounts committee (CAD) â.
The PCB noted that almost all of the audit paragraphs were left untouched during the DAC meetings and advised the NLC, its auditors and the Secretary of the Planning Commission to consider them at the next DAC meeting. .
Yaqoob Sheikh, the secretary, was of the opinion that since the commission had no connection with the NLC, it should have been a department attached to the communications ministry.
According to him, the commission approached the defense ministry in this regard.
Yaqoob Sheikh said the NLC leadership was unable to explain its position on the audit paragraphs which spoke of financial irregularities reaching billions of rupees.
According to auditors, the NLC neither observed procurement rules nor preserved public funds.
Rana Tanveer Hussain, chairman of PAC, suggested that procurement rules should have been changed to allow commercial entities of the armed forces to undertake projects without any competition in âhard areasâ.
The auditors pointed out that the National Logistics Unit had signed an agreement with the Karachi Infrastructure Development Company for the realization of works on the rapid transit system by bus of the green line from the city of Surjani to Saddar at a cost of 1, 07 billion rupees.
According to the audit paragraphs, the NLC sublet the work of Vertical Transportation – Esclator to M / s Wind Rose Conslutancy at an agreed cost of Rs969 million based on a quote without any notice being published. in the newspapers.
“Management compromised transparency, deprived the entity of the advantage of competitive rates, and denied a fair opportunity to other potential bidders to participate in the bidding process,” the audit report said.
Through another audit paragraph, the Auditor General said the NLC overpaid Rs 178 million to several contractors.
The organization’s chief financial officer (CFO) told PAC that an investigation had been carried out into the para and two officials – Chaudhry Afzal Tarrar and Lt. Col. Bashir Yaseen – had been removed from their posts.
But the director general of trade audit informed the committee that the NLC did not share this information during the DAC meeting.
An NLC official, however, argued that auditors raised the para on the basis of a classified document and called it a breach of confidentiality.
The auditors pointed out that the NLC had granted “undue favors” to a private company and had awarded it the contract for a project worth Rs 120 million while the company lacked expertise in the field of construction.
The NLC informed the committee that the project was carried out in a “difficult area where a junior officer has embraced martyrdom”.
According to the NLC official, as the main private companies were reluctant to carry out the project in this region, the project was handed over to a relatively inexperienced entity.
The PAC chairman postponed discussion of identical audit paragraphs, including those related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying he would suggest relevant authorities to change the rules to allow the NLC and entities. similar to executing projects without apprehensions of censorship.
Posted in Dawn, July 16, 2021