Senate committee gives ‘unlimited’ powers to senate chairman

Senate Finance Committee has given ‘unlimited’ powers to chairman senate regarding the hiring of any personnel on BPS 17 and above, and also approved the purchase of approximately Rs 3.4 million worth specialised gift items, crockery, cutlery, etc.

Official documents available with Pakistan Today disclose that the Senate Finance Committee has authorised the chairman senate to hire persons on market scales or hire the services of professionals for specific jobs and duration on market rates with such modification/relaxation in qualification and experience as required to hire the suitable professionals.

The committee further approved the proposal to change the degree qualification requirement, as well as the length and type of experience for hiring persons in the senate secretariat against BS-17 and above posts.

Similarly, the committee has approved a proposal regarding creation/continuation/up-gradation/re-designation of some posts in BS-17 and above grade, and their continuation beyond six months in order to meet the demands of the senate secretariat. Documents also reveal that the senate finance committee has approved the purchase of Rs 3.4 million worth specialised crockery, cutlery, gift items, chairs, table (set up) to be used during official functions organised by the senate secretariat. After fulfilling all formalities under the PPRA Rules, the committee approved the purchase of complete crockery and cutlery items with senate logo for 250 persons and set up arrangement (tables, chairs, linen etc) for 150 persons at an approximate cost of Rs 1.8 million and Rs 1.6 million, respectively, the documents said.

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Senate secretariat has been facing a shortage of budget to clear the pending dues of senators during the on-going financial year due to many reasons mainly because of high expenditures of Senators incurred during their foreign trips, expenses of APA (Asian Parliamentary Assembly) Standing Committee, etc. Also, it has decided to seek a supplementary grant from finance division to meet expenditures during the current financial year (2016-17).

According to official details, the senators have spent Rs 44, 098,440 (Rupees forty-four million ninety-eight thousand four hundred and forty only) during their 30 foreign visits. Similarly, expenditures of Rs 8,477,292 (Rupees eight million four hundred seventy-seven thousand two hundred and ninety-two) surfaced on APA (Asian Parliamentary Assembly) Standing Committee on Economic and Sustainable Development Affairs held in a five-star private hotel, Islamabad from 26-27 July 2016.

The committee meeting, held under the chairmanship of Mian Raza Rabbani on 22nd December 2016 has approved the purchase two luxury Mercedes vehicles and one Toyota Fortuner Jeep for Senate chairman’s  duty and protocol.  The purchase of two Mercedes vehicles and one Toyota Fortuner Jeep will cost approximately Rs 12.647 million to the exchequer.

 

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is a an investigative journalist at Profit. He can be reached at [email protected]
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