That the Public Accounts Committee has been active under its chairman Nadeem Afzal Chan was seen on Tuesday when he lashed out on former Secretary Health for hiring buildings for government use for Rs 60 million every month. Whatever the excuse, the Secretary may have, this is too big an amount for rent. Indeed, if officers had not been playing ducks and drakes with this much cash, then they could have easily saved up enough to construct buildings for governmental use. But such is the norm that an average official cares little when the taxpayers’ money is concerned, indeed he takes it that an authorisation to use the public purse gives him the power to take away as much as his greed allows. This is just atrocious and the PAC Chairman has done just the right thing by showing his wrath.

Allegedly, it is common for government departments to hire buildings owned by influential people. The rent, since it comes from the treasury, is sometimes fixed at whatever charges the owner demands. What transpired during the PAC proceedings is only the tip of the iceberg; there exists a whole culture that if unearthed would raise hackles of the PAC itself. If a thorough investigation is made, most of the departments would find themselves at the wrong side of the law. The PAC needs to ensure that this practice comes to an end.