The federal government's debt inquiry commission has been authorized to probe into expenditures performed in the past ten years.
These expenditures include the establishment of camp offices, unnecessary foreign visits, deployment of personal security, and other public resources by families of heads of state and government institutions in the last ten years (2008 to 2018).
The Cabinet Division has issued a notification according to which the federal government has added the terms of reference (TORs) in the notification issued on June 27, 2019, regarding an inquiry into unauthorized government expenditures during 2008 to 2018.
Previously, the government had authorized debt inquiry commission to ascertain the significance of major infrastructure or public sector development works carried out from the year 2008 and consummate them with the increase in public debt from Rs. 6,690 billion to Rs. 30,846 billion till September 2018.
The government further granted the commission with powers to investigate the award and implementation of any contract or project and of any debt obtained for a particular project and spent on the corresponding project.
The TORs also include, Whether any public contract was artificially inflated to facilitate kickbacks? If so, in whose favor? Whether any holders or public office or their spouses, children and any persons connected to them expended any public funds to meet personal or private expenditures, beyond what has been permitted under the law and rules.
Whether the cap prescribed under the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act, 2005 has been busted? If so, the reasons and justifications thereof? Whether the amendments, if any, in the 2005 act were in keeping with the spirit of Article 166 of the Constitution, or, otherwise?
The TORs also provided for the execution of forensic and special audits by the debt commission through any reliable international or local auditor or set of auditors to determine the real scope, nature, and volume of a case. The commission will also trace the trail of the expenditures or investments of the federal government, or any part thereof, from February 2008 to September 2018.
The commission will also fix responsibility and refer for investigation and prosecution any irregularity to relevant agency/department within six months. The finance ministry officials apprised the commission that the previous governments had gathered around Rs.28 trillion loan from domestic and foreign banks along with lending organizations.
Around Rs.18 trillion was borrowed from domestic banks while Rs.10 trillion loan was provided by the foreign sources.
Sourc e: Pro Pakistani