PAC recovered Rs1 trillion over past one year: Chairman Noor AlamBreaking

June 13, 2023

Chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC) MNA Noor Alam Khan has said that during past one year, the Committee successfully recovered around one trillion rupees, with a commitment to take decisive action against individuals who have harmed the national exchequer. Taking part in budget debate in National Assembly on Tuesday, he emphasized the committee’s efforts in recovering the substantial amount, clarifying that it was a collective accomplishment, not solely his own. He emphasized that he did not witness any preferential treatment or bias among the Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) during the recovery process and functioning of PAC.

Noor Alam further declared that he draws a monthly salary of Rs. 168,000 as an MNA and an additional Rs. 20,000 as Chairman of the PAC. He said that individuals engaged in corrupt practices should face the consequences of their actions. He exposed instances of corruption amounting to billions of rupees in programs such as the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami, the BRT project in Peshawar, the health sector, and the police department. He expressed concerns about the lack of a submitted report regarding corruption complaints surrounding the Mohmand Dam project.

The Chairman PAC said he summoned the Registrar of the apex court, along with records of funding cases related to the Basha Dam, questioning the absence of audits for the account and the failure to utilize Rs. 17 billion collected for the project. Noor Alam Khan raised a significant question about the allocation of 190 million pounds to an individual, emphasizing that this wealth belonged to Pakistan, and the national exchequer suffered as a result.

He asserted that individuals who exploit Pakistan’s wealth, incite unrest, and deceive its people cannot consider themselves true Muslims. He emphasized that Pakistan was founded on Islamic principles. The Chairman also recalled the disqualification of two prime ministers based on holding Aqama and failing to write a letter. He underscored the responsibility of the apex court to protect the constitution without making changes, as that authority lies with the parliament. He called upon the judiciary to fulfill its role and acknowledged the sacrifices made by politicians in the past for the restoration of deposed judges in 2007.

MNA Noor Alam highlighted the imprisonment and death sentences imposed on political leaders in the past, while emphasizing that certain individuals still hold unwarranted favoritism toward a particular person. He lamented the backlog of thousands of pending cases in the courts, which disproportionately affects the underprivileged. He expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of interest shown by treasury lawmakers during the ongoing budget session, highlighting the absence of the Minister for Finance, State Minister for Finance, and Minister for Planning Development. He pointed out that the entourage of these cabinet members could be seen outside the parliament, emphasizing the need for the relevant ministers to be present in the house during the budget session.

The Chairman PAC highlighted that previous Finance Ministers, namely Hammad Azahar, Shaukat Tareen, and Miftah Ismail, voiced criticisms against the previous governments when presenting the budget in the National Assembly during their respective tenures. He expressed concern that agriculturalists did not receive any notable incentives or special provisions, while the owners of fertilizer companies seemed to be the primary beneficiaries. He stressed the importance of addressing the lives of vendors, as the majority of the population, around 70 percent, resides in rural areas where initiatives are lacking for their uplift.

Furthermore, Noor Alam Khan highlighted the persistent issues of gas and electricity load-shedding in the country, resulting in significant suffering for the people. He noted the provision of free electricity to WAPDA employees, while laborers receive meager wages despite their contributions. He stressed the importance of tackling issues of inflation as well as load-shedding and to improve performance.

The Chairman PAC also highlighted the announcement of incentives for overseas Pakistanis. He noted that the majority of remittances come from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, while a good number of the individuals residing in the UK and the United States have shown their loyalty and dedication there. He proposed that those who work under harsh conditions, braving the scorching sun or extreme weather, and diligently send money back to their families should be granted greater passport privileges and VVIP protocols as a token of appreciation.

He expressed his concern about certain individuals within the country who receive hefty salaries. He advocated for imposing taxes on them rather than burdening the poor. Noor Alam pointed out that certain sectors, such as fertilizers, tobacco mafia, telecom, and vehicle manufacturing, enjoy tax exemptions. He urged the Chairman the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to revamp their outdated reform process and implement restructuring measures. Referring to the incidents on May 9, he asserted that individuals involved in the attacks on military installations and monuments of martyrs should face strict punishment for their participation in acts of rebellion and conspiracy against the nation.

The Chairman PAC advocated for the revocation of nationality for those who targeted state institutions and installations. He emphasized that there should be no leniency towards such individuals, and decisive actions should be taken to safeguard the integrity and security of the country. He expressed his concerns regarding the interference of foreign congressmen and MPs in the affairs of Pakistan by writing letters and engaging in debates about the country’s situation by violating UN charter. He emphasized that while the people of Pakistan stood up against terrorists, these external individuals, by staying distant, are now meddling in their affairs. “Pakistan has fought a war for forty years, sacrificing $120 billion and 80,000 lives, not for its own benefit, but for the well-being of people worldwide as Pakistan values humanity above all else”, he added.

Noor Alam noted the reluctance of the IMF, World Bank, and Western countries to provide financial assistance to Pakistan. In the event of bankruptcy, he said Pakistan would turn to its friendly nations for support. He emphasized the need to increase the salaries and privileges for the soldiers. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of providing pension, better support and resources for the children of martyred personnel from any force. He concluded his budget speech by raising the slogan of “Pakistan Zindabad” and saluting the armed forces.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan-INP