Islamabad   -  The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has unearthed irregularities worth tens of billions of rupees in the Pakistan International Airline Corporation Limited (PIACL) operations at London station and found out that around 15,832 people commuted between Pakistan and London and back from January 2014 to June 2017 in the airlines for free.

It has been revealed that PIA management allowed as many as 12,073 of its employees and 3,759 passengers to travel from Pakistan to London and London to Pakistan in just three and a half years (from January 2014 to June 2017) for free without keeping in view the corporation’s financial position, resultantly causing the loss of Rs1873.63 million during the period under review, the AGP said in its special audit report of the PIACL London office from 2006 to 2016.

Other key findings of the special audit report are that the launch of Premier Service flight operation caused the PIACL the loss of Rs2882.012 million.

Premier Service operations were launched on August 14, 2016 on the directives of the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Similarly loss of Rs2330.394 million was incurred due to out-of-court settlement with APTA/non APTA agents by the PIACL management. The audit has also disclosed losses of billion of rupees annually due to the misuse of Revenue Business Designation (RBDs) by the travel agents in connivance with the revenue management at head office.

The unnecessary hiring of buildings on rent and payment of rent of the vacant office buildings incurred the loss of Rs265.988 million to the corporation, says the audit report.

Similarly, the report says irregular deployment of 20 employees over and above the approved HRB PIACL, London station and irregular appointments caused the loss of Rs69.739 million per annum to the corporation.

Likewise, non-recovery from the agents and other parties caused the PIACL loss of Rs35.44 million.

The other anomalies include the irregular award of contract in violation of PPRA rules, weaknesses in the internal control system of PIACL and non-production of record by the management of PIACL.

It has been recommended in the audit report that action should be taken against the officers responsible for mishandling the case of APTA/non-APTA agents which caused the loss of billions of rupees to PIACL.

Similarly, the report recommends action against the agents who misappropriated the amount/air tickets and the concerned officers who didn’t initiate action against them.

The matter related to the launching of premier service and irregular authorization of RBDs may be investigated at a higher level, the report suggests.

The report further recommends action against the persons found guilty of hiring the buildings on rent unnecessarily and paying rent of vacant buildings.