PAC orders removal of contractors’ details


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ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has ordered the ministries of water resources and defence to take down from their official websites the details of all the contractors engaged in construction of key projects or providing services to the Armed Forces of Pakistan.

While issuing this instruction on Thursday, PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan observed that India is using this data to create problems for Pakistan. “The details of the contractors should be immediately taken down,” he said.

Earlier, the committee expressed its displeasure over the failure of the secretary of water resources to attend the meeting in which the parliament’s accountability body was going to review the Ministry of Water Resources’ audit report for 2019-2020.

Officials representing the water resources ministry informed the committee that the secretary was out of the country. The PAC chairman, however, noted that it was the fourth or fifth time that the secretary had decided to skip the meeting.

He said the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) chairman was present in the meeting but noted that the real authority lied with the water resource secretary.  “It is, therefore, pointless to carry on the meeting in his absence,” he said.

“The performance of the Ministry of Water Resources is also not satisfactory. Your projects have not been completed even after 20 years. The cost of twelve of your projects has increased by 100%.

“Have you people prepared any investigation report shedding light on the causes of this delay,” he asked the ministry’s joint secretary.

Committee member Barjees Tahir said that if the principal accounting officer is not present in the meeting then there is no point in continuing it.

PAC Chairman Khan said the Kachhi Canal project had been started in 2002 but it had not been completed so far.

He said this was an instance of negligence. “Why action has not been taken against such officers?” He asked.

Shaikh Rohale Asghar, a member of the committee, asked the ministry officials if any action had been taken against the people responsible for delay in completion of various projects.

The PAC chairman later asked the ministry officials to submit inquiry reports on delay in completion of various water projects at the next meeting of the committee on August 8.

He said the ministry must also explain as to why so many officers are working at the ministry on deputation. “The officers on deputation who have worked at the ministry for more than three years should be transferred to their original departments.

“These instructions are being sent to the prime minister and the future prime minister,” he added.

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