ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Monday took strong notice of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General’s inefficiency of not utilising grant which was allocated in the federal budget for sports uplift and seek explanation from the DG in this regard.

Senate Standing Committee on IPC met on Monday under the chair of Chairman Senator Mir Kabir Ahmed Sahi at Pakistan Sports Complex which was also attended by IPC minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, secretary M Ali Gardezi, additional secretary Tipu Mohabbat Khan, PSB DG Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera and other board officials.

Senator Kabir was of the view that despite spending billion of rupees on players and athletes, the standard of sports was declining in the country with each passing day. “If situation remains the same, there is no need of wasting national exchequer. Instead the sports standard touches new heights, it is falling rapidly especially non-utilisation of allocated development funds is a crime and shows responsible lack vision.”

The IPC minister said that politics among federations and parallel bodies were the main reason behind this decline. Moreover, politicians and bureaucrats hold offices of different federations, that’s why the federations are out of control of the IPC. Mian Riaz informed the committee that he had informed Prime Minister about the reservations of parliament and masses over pathetic performance of national cricket team and requested him to convene a meeting with the PCB.

PSB DG Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera informed the committee that during 2015-16 fiscal year, the PSB received around Rs 1000 million non-development funds. “We spent around Rs 600 million but I accept the remaining amount was not spent due to one or another reason and we are depositing the remaining amount to national exchequer. As DG, I accept my failure to spend the amount.”

Senator Kabir expressed his displeasure and said: “Sports are given least priority in Pakistan, the federations have been given very meager amounts in the name of annual funds and that too have not been fully utilised, which is not acceptable. The PSB is free to spend millions of rupees and their main task is to facilitate the federations, which, in return, help athletes to win international laurels and bring fame for country at international level. If the PSB can’t perform their duties in the best interest of the country, then it should be shut down.”  Kabir warned Ganjera that he had to ensure proper utilisation of funds and immediately blacklist those companies and contractors, who failed to complete timely work and used substandard material.

Ganjera informed the committee that there was no shortage of funds for Narowal Sports Complex. Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal is personally monitoring the project. He informed the committee that for participation in Olympics or any other mega event, government is whole-solely depends on Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), as without their consent and approval, Pakistani contingent can’t participate in international events.

IPC secretary M Ali Gardezi also gave briefing to the standing committee on the working of the PSB. He said after 18th amendment, sports ministry was dissolved and various powers were granted to the PSB. “It is now the PSB’s duty to provide facilities to the federations and should try its best to eradicate the menace of parallel bodies and political interference. Everybody is aware of politics in Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) as well. The parallel federations also add to the miseries of athletes and the PSB has to face a lot of pressure.”

The committee took serious notice of Pakistan cricket team’s dismal performances and also discussed in detail the PCB officials’ behaviour. The committee member Senator Saud Majeed expressed his strong reservations that despite the worst results, none of the PCB officials including chairman Shahryar M Khan bothered to accept the failure and tender resignation.

Reacting on that, the IPC minister said: “If things were in his hands, I should have taken the PCB chairman’s resignation immediately. The PCB is very much answerable to both parliament and government.”

Replying on human smuggling scandal in Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), the committee was informed that a letter was written and two persons were nominated in that scandal. The standing committee ordered the IPC to investigate the matter and submit their findings in next meeting.

Ganjera totally failed in satisfying standing committee over the PSB financial issues and also failed to submit written report about expenditures but the IPC minister came to his rescue saying Ganjera didn’t have powers till recent past as he was facing court cases, but now he is powerful DG and he would streamline things soon.