- Says Etisalat has not paid dues of $ 800 million since last seven years
- Audit officials say about Rs 1 billion spent on removal and laying of earth at new Benazir airport
- Power distribution companies suffering annual losses of Rs 500 billion
ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the Privatisation Commission admitted before the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly Wednesday that the agreement for the privatisation of PTCL was not transparent and financially damaging to the country. He said though the government was fully observing the agreement, Etisalat has not paid a single penny out of remaining $ 800 million in the last seven years.
Meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was held here under the chairmanship of Syed Khursheed Shah at the Parliament House.
The PAC directed NAB to submit a report in the affairs of the PTCL within a month and directed for the audit of the company’s accounts.
During the meeting, the PAC was briefed by the Privatisation Commission regarding privatisation of different enterprises. The meeting was told that the government transferred 3214 installations and properties of PTCL out of 3248 to the Etisalat but the company is not paying the dues. However assets worth $ 9.24 million have not been transferred to the Etisalat. It was further told that 180 assets were transferred during the PPP tenure and 97 by the present government.
On a question by the members PC Chairman Mohammad Zubair admitted that the agreement of privatisation was not transparent. He said there were conditionalities which caused losses to the government but despite that the government was observing it. He said the agreement provides that 100% assets are to be transferred to Etisalat.
He said the case was sent to NAB in 2013 which responded that the matter was investigated but there were lacunas in the agreement. He said the report is lying with Chairman NAB. The PAC directed NAB chairman to submit the report in two weeks.
Audit officials said that there had been no audit of PTCL accounts after 1996. They said after the 18th amendment, letters were written to PTCL for audit but the organisation is yet to get its accounts audited.
At this chairman PAC observed that no one can be allowed to violate the constitution and directed for the audit of the PTCL accounts. He said if the company refuses, it should be brought to the notice of the PAC. The officials asked the PAC to order the withdrawal of assets under the Etisalat which were not part of the agreement.
Chairman PC said that the institution that cannot serve the people needed to be privatised. He said some institutions were making annual losses to the tune of Rs 700 billion. He said Power distribution companies were incurring losses of Rs 500 billion alone.
The PAC expressed its reservations over the privatisation of Heavy Electrical Complex and said it was being sold for just Rs 1.1 billion
Khursheed Shah said the Parliament was pressuring the government not to privatize the profit making institutions.
Audit officials disclosed that they have made recoveries of Rs 75 million following objections on the accounts of Civil Aviation Authority.
They also made the startling disclosures that a huge amount of about one billion was spent on removal earth and its laying again at the New Benazir InternationalAirport. The PAC expressed its annoyance over it and asked the FIA to investigate and submit a report in the matter in one month.
It was also discussed that there were losses of Rs 24.8 million on the purchase of 50 Kanal of land for the airport. At this Secretary Aviation admitted the illegality and said the amount would be recovered from the Earnest money of Rs 18 million.