PAC chief calls military estate offices ‘dens of corruption’
PAC chief calls military estate offices ‘dens of corruption’ PAC chief calls military estate offices ‘dens of corruption’ PAC chief calls military estate offices ‘dens of corruption’

PUBLISHED 7/14/2017

By Khawar Ghumman

ISLAMABAD, Feb 3: Chairman of National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has called military estate offices ‘dens of corruption’ and accused them of being involved in all sorts of malpractices, including extortion, helping influential people to prolong illegal occupation and forcing the poor to vacate military land.

Chaudhry Nisar was presiding over a PAC meeting which continued for the second day on Tuesday its discussion on use of public funds by armed forces in 2005-2006.

The meeting was informed that the national exchequer had been deprived of Rs103 million by unauthorised use of residential property and encroachment in the cantonment area of Rawalpindi.

The PAC chief asked Defence Secretary Gen (retd) Syed Athar Ali to take special measures to improve the working of the estate offices and introduce an accountability mechanism to check malpractices.

Also in the Rawalpindi cantonment area, the treasury did not receive Rs36 million on account of fine imposed for using residential property for commercial purposes.

According to audit reports, Shaheen Airlines was put in the category of domestic airline and, therefore, charged reduced fee for landing and housing. The concession given to the airline by the then director general of Civil Aviation Authority cost the national exchequer Rs10 million.

The committee asked the officials concerned to speed up the process of recovery of Rs10 million from contractors who failed to provide potatoes to the Pakistan Air Force.

Ms Yasmeen Rehman criticised what she described as the pathetic financial management of the ministry of defence. This was one ministry, she said, which had such a large number of paragraphs in the audit reports for PAC’s consideration. It also had the dubious distinction of being a public sector organisation where audit officials faced problems in carrying out their routine work, she added.

Riaz Hussain Pirzada, another member of the committee, said it was unfair on the part of the defence ministry to demand Rs21 billion as property tax from Wapda for using its land for pylon and other infrastructure throughout the country. Wapda has been refusing to pay the tax. It was decided that the ministry and Wapda would sit together and sort out the issue within six months.