AGP finds inconsistency worth Rs15tr by ministers

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ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has pointed out irregularities of more than Rs15.67 trillion worth of public money by the federal ministries and divisions during the audit year 2018-19, claimed a report in Dawn.

In its report laid before parliament as required under Article 171 of the Constitution, the AGP highlighted a series of violation of rules and regulations, weaknesses of internal control, misappropriation or over-payment of public funds and negligence.

The audit objections regarding the accounts of the federal government for the audit year 2018 are far greater (87 per cent) than the Rs5.8tr a year before, showing that financial control over public money has deteriorated instead of having been improved.

The AGP in its report, put on record that its findings were based on scrutiny of public funds of 40 out of 50 federal entities and did not cover amounts below Rs1m spent or received by these entities. It said that an amount of Rs4.9bn was recovered during the year under review at the instance of the auditor and deposited in the federal consolidated fund.

According to the report, the AGP highlighted a total of 39 cases of weak internal control amounting to Rs14.56tr involving several ministries and divisions and related entities abroad. Again, some of them were also included in 51 cases pertaining to weak financial management involving a total amount of Rs14.735tr. Also, 237 cases of Rs293bn were pointed out involving irregular expenditures or payments in violation of rules.

The AGP said the finance ministry was required to place all supplementary grants before the National Assembly for approval, but it was not done and such large amounts remained unreported. The finance ministry’s response that supplementary grants received from various ministries and divisions beyond a cut-off date could not be made part of the book presented to parliament was found untenable.

The AGP also expressed concern over non-surrendering of savings worth Rs411bn by various ministries and divisions, resulting in lapse of funds. This was in violation of financial rules that require that all anticipated savings should be surrendered to the kitty immediately they are foreseen but not later than May 15 each year.

The AGP also highlighted about Rs55bn less payment to the provinces under their National Finance Commission shares through over-deduction of collection charges and unauthorized over-payment of Rs35bn to Balochistan, claimed the report.

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