Pak Foreign Office misappropriates Rs.130 million

December 17th, 2008 - 5:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Dec.17 (ANI): The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly has expressed concern over the Foreign Office misappropriating Rs.129.69 million.
The committee came to know that advances worth Rs.7.887 million were paid to some 50 officials working in nine missions abroad and in the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Islamabad as allowances.
After a lapse of more than two years, the advances had neither been adjusted nor recovered.
The Daily Times said that the PAC has given the ministry two months to recover the amount, and warned that in case of failure, punitive action would be taken against those responsible.
The committee, chaired by Nisar Ali Khan, summoned a former ambassador, the head of chancery and four other officials of the Pakistan embassy in Spain when it was informed by the audit authorities that four officials were paid an unauthorised amount of Rs.0.188 million as daily allowance when they travelled from Madrid to Barcelona.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Salman Bashir said Hassan Sarmad was the ambassador and Shafqat Cheema the head of chancery at the time the amount was paid to the four embassy officials.
The committee chairman summoned Sarmad, Cheema and the four officials to explain in the next meeting the irregularity and why the unauthorised amount had not been adjusted.
The PAC directed the foreign affairs secretary to readjust and recover the amount pending under various heads for the last two to three years.
“There has to be an in-house accounting system. There are serious loopholes,” Nisar said. (ANI)

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