KARACHI - Sindh Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee has expressed anger over the purchase of medicines/drugs in the government hospitals without testing it in laboratories, terming that the drug inspectors be made accountable, who put lives of people at risk. PAC which met at the committee room of Sindh Assembly building with its chairman MPA Sardar Jam Tamachi Unar in the chair, considered the audit paras of the district governments of Hyderabad and Jamshoro here the other day.Total 17 audit paras of audit report of Jamshoro district, involving Rs.158 million, were discussed by the provincial accountability body. The PAC settled the seven audit paras, while ten audit paras involving amount of Rs107 million were deferred due to expenditures incurred without documents and procedures. Besides, a total 12 audit paras of Hyderabad district involving Rs394 million were discussed by the PAC, but majority of 11 paras were deferred due to non-availability of record and satisfactory reply by the authorities in defend of expenditures incurred during the year 2010-11. Director Audit Department Ghulam Akbar Soho told the meeting that sufficient time given to the district authorities to produce the record of expenditures but unfortunately they failed in verifying the audit paras. Meanwhile, absence of officials of provincial finance department in the meeting irked the PAC. PAC chairman directed the PAC secretariat to approach the finance department to make sure the attendance of their representative in the meetings.During the discussion on audit paras, the DG Audit drew attention of the accountability body that EDO health Hyderabad purchased the medicines worth of Rs76 million without obtaining testing laboratory report.The disclosure invited anger of PAC chairmen and other members of the body against the health officials of the district and drug inspectors. PAC Chairman Sardar Jam Tamachi Unar in his observations came down hard against the drug inspectors, saying that they are not only involved in rampant corruption but are giving green signals to drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers to spoil the market with spurious medicines, which is not fit for human consumption. PAC remarked that people have lost their trust in free medicines at public hospital because they know that everyone from manufacture to drug inspectors minting money at the cost of innocent lives. Unar underscored the need for independency and inclusion of honest persons in the purchasing committee, otherwise change is not possible. On this occasion, the Deputy Commissioner Hyderabad Agha Shahnawaz said that the district government had approached the health department for drug testing but they didn’t entertain the request of district authorities.  The Audit officials drew the attention of the accountability body towards machinery purchased for USA in Trauma Centre, Sehwan Sharif and 20-bed hospital in Nooriabad. Besides, the EDO Health Jamshoro district had purchased machinery amounting to Rs13 million in 2011, but unfortunately they failed to distribute it in the hospitals.  In his reply, the Deputy Commissioner Jamshoro held building department responsible for the delay in the dispatching of the machinery to the hospitals. The DC claimed that they have written many letters to officials concerned but building department has failed to hand over the constructed buildings where machinery is supposed to be installed. The PAC chairman directed the officials to write a letter to chief secretary, seeking details about to make sure the purchased machinery is still safe from thieves.  The PAC also took strong notice of dubious transition by Jamshoro district government and directed the secretariat to write a letter to finance secretary to explain if there were rules under which the district officials could utilise whatever amount they want without proper allocation of budget.The DG audit informed PAC said that officers of Jamshoro district have incurred excess expenditure of Rs17.497 million over and above the budgetary allocation. Audit department officials told the accountability body that the despite lack of any provision, the district officials of Jamshoro spent funds for exhibition and fairs, entertainment and gifts, repair of machinery and petroleum products. However, Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner Agha Abbas contradicted the arguments of the audit department, claiming that DCs have powers to re-appropriate the funds to utilise the money in revised budget. However, the PAC members did not satisfied with the claims of the DC Jamshoro, deferring the audit para till proper clarification from the finance department.