LAHORE  - PR - Recently, two different news items appeared in a section of press reporting integrity issues in the management of ‘Sasti Roti Scheme’ of Government of the Punjab in the financial year 2009-10. Since the news items claimed to have quoted the Audit Reports of the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) as basis of the reported contents, this clarification is issued.

The first news item claimed that a report of the AGP had mentioned Rs 25 billion as cost of ‘Sasti Roti Scheme’. It is clarified that the attribution of this piece of information to the report of AGP is incorrect and misleading. In fact, an audit observation contained in a report of the AGP has mentioned Rs.24.169 billion as the value of total subsidy by Government of the Punjab on food in 2009-10.

The subsidy amounting to Rs 24.169 billion was composed of five different items, of which only one item amounting to Rs 6.32 billion pertained to ‘Sasti Roti Scheme’. Further, the Report has not objected to the subsidy rather it only objected to incurrence of an expenditure of Rs.3.64 billion as mark up on account of delay in payment of claim of subsidy raised by the banks concerned.

The second news item claimed that a report of the AGP had pointed out issuance of more than 1000 bags of flour to ghost tandoors in one district of Punjab. It is clarified that Audit has only reported the number of ghost tandoors whose permits were cancelled by Government of the Punjab in 2009-10.

It is further clarified that the Audit Report is essentially focused on the Principal Accounting Officers of respective ministries/ departments/ organizations. These were discussed in the meetings of respective Public Accounts Committee (PAC), as per schedule, being the PAC’s prerogative.