ISLAMABAD: Federal audit observed that Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Service Corporation (Passco) failed to recover Rs60.5 million outstanding against the Afghanistan’s government for years, resulting in a loss of potential interest income of Rs29.7 million, which the sum would have otherwise earned.
The 2014-15 audit revealed that Rs60.501 million was outstanding against the government of Afghanistan before March 2011 and Chartered Accountants repeatedly pointed out the issue to the management that made no concrete effort to recover the outstanding sum. Had the management recovered the relevant amount, an interest income of Rs29.702 million could have been earned from it.
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Audit was of the view that since Passco carries out its operations on borrowing from banks at a handsome mark-up, concrete efforts were required to get the above amount recovered from Afghanistan’s government.
The matter was reported to the management and ministry on Nov 2, 2015. However, during the Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) meeting on Dec 30, 2015, the management explained that the case for recovering of Rs60.501 million against Afghanistan’s government was already being vigorously pursued.
Furthermore, a summary for pending Passco’s receivable against Agri-Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) was approved by Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Aug 12, 2015 but its implementation was being delayed inordinately.
The DAC directed the management to recover the owed sum from the government of Afghanistan. The federal audit recommended action in light of DAC directives to ensure early recovery. However, the audit noted that no further progress was reported till finalisation of the report.
According to another audit, it was observed that the Passco management inducted/ promoted 999 officials against approved strength of 941 officials in different cadres in utter disregard to the set criteria.
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This resulted in unjustified payment of Rs14.946 million. Furthermore, in 2014-15, despite inducting 12 lower staff members, the management claimed that no recruitment had taken place in the period.
The management inducted/promoted officials in violation of the decision of Passco Board of Directors (BoD). According to the finding of the DAC, there were 119 officials in excess of the approved strength and the committee did not accept the explanation offered by the management and directed it to provide a revised reply grounded in facts, but the audit noted that there was no progress till finalisation of the report.
The audit recommended bringing the total strength of staff at or below approved sanctioned strength. It also recommended punitive actions against those responsible for violating the Board’s approved sanctioned strength.
Courtesy : Express Tribune