KARACHI: Sindh Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday held its third consecutive session at Sindh Assembly building to review Rs 44.56 million irregularities in the audit report of the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro. The committee cleared irregularities of Rs 5.607 million, however, they did not approve justifications on irregularities of remaining Rs 38.95 million.
Vice Chancellor Mehran University Prof Dr Mohammad Aslam Uqaili was absent during the meeting due to his visit to China for signing MoU on Thar Coal, while Acting Vice Chancellor Ghous Bux Khaskheli and Director Finance Muneer Shaikh represented the university in the meeting.
The meeting was also attended by Director General Audit Sindh Ghulam Akber Soho and other official of the audit department while provincial finance secretary was absent from the third consecutive PAC meeting, on which PAC head Saleem Raza Jalbani said that a notice was also dispatched to him for clarifying his absence from PAC meetings.
The audit report for financial year 2009-10 presented before the PAC showed discrepancies in funds used by the varsity.
The settled amount was Rs 3.911 million spent in excess execution of item of works, non-credit of Rs 1.445 million in terms of income tax and Rs 0.409 million in terms of non-deduction of income tax from the suppliers.
The university’s director finance presented copies of Rs 5.607 million irregularities and on verification, the audit department cleared the matter and the committee declared the issues as settled.
The report also revealed irregularities of Rs 7.143 million over expenditures without inviting open tenders. The varsity director finance apologized over the issue and said that the amount was paid in emergency to a private security company for maintaining law and order situation.
He said police and Rangers were not called for the university’s security as the university comprised of 12,000 acres of land and it was not possible for them to safeguard it, therefore, officials decided to hire private security guards, which proved fruitful as not a single land of university is encroached.
He said that the tenders were invited during the fiscal year 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 for this purpose. The PAC members accepted apology from the Mehran University officials but sent the matter to the sub-committee.
The audit report also found irregularities of Rs 8.184 in payment of medical allowances to BPS-17 and above grade officers and Rs 4.538 million in terms of purchases of computers, furniture, machinery, games, sports and other articles.
A heated argument was witnessed in the meeting between DG Audit Sindh and Mehran University Director Finance over irregularity of Rs 10.816 million in terms of temporary advances paid to various employees.
Talking to media, PAC head Saleem Raza Jalbani said that the basic aim behind the meetings was to improve way of working in government institutions.
He said that basic thing which was revealed during the meetings was irresponsible behaviour of the officials and these meetings would be helpful in correcting these things.
DG Audit Sindh said that major reason behind financial irregularities in Sindh universities due to recruitment of non-professional people. “Director Finance in every university is considered as representative of auditor general, however, several retired and non-professional officials were appointed on the post,” he said.
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