PTI, PAT sit-in cost Rs700m to kitty, PAC told

ISLAMABAD –  Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was Wednesday informed that the sit-ins of political parties ‘PTI and PAT’ cost around Rs700 million to the national exchequer.

The committee meeting, chaired by Khursheed Shah, reviewed the audit objections of the Ministry of Interior of year 2015-16. Audit officials informed the committee that nearly Rs700 million was spent to ensure security during sit-ins of PTI and PAT in Islamabad.

They said that Islamabad police had not entered the expenditures incurred due to sit-in of PTI and PAT in the cashbook.

The longest ever sit-in of Pakistan continued for 126 days and ended on December 16, 2014, due to terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, which claimed  lives of 141 people, including 132 children.

The committee also witnessed exchange of hot words between the members of PTI and PML-N over the issue of expenditures during the sit-in.

A PAC member from PTI Arif Alvi was of the view that the sit-in helped stopped billions of rupees’ corruption in the country. Whereas, PAC member Mian Abdul Manan from PML-N argued that the sit-in was basically staged against the alleged rigging in elections 2013 and not against corruption.

A PPP’s PAC member Senator Sherry Rehman also commented that Pakistan incurred a loss of Rs700 million due to one sit-in.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan has recently once again threatened a march on Islamabad if an ‘NRO’ is conducted with the PML-N.

The PML-N government had reportedly released details of the losses of billion Pakistan suffered due to the PTI and PAT demonstrations last year. It was reported that a supplementary grant amounting to Rs760.5 million, which the government had to release to the ministry of interior to make elaborate security arrangements in the capital during the protests.

The PAC was also informed about the alleged irregularities of billions of rupees’ loss incurred on residential project of Sindh Rangers. This project cost was Rs600 million but it delayed for around 10 so the escalation cost caused loss to national exchequer.

The committee chairman constituted a sub-committee comprising Arif Alvi and Ghulam Mustafa Shah to probe this matter and submit report in a fortnight period.

About the safe-city project of Islamabad, Chairman PAC Khursheed Shah enquired about the utilisation of Rs13 billion on this project. “Was the money spent on safe-city project of Islamabad was properly utilised,” Shah asked the concerned authority to brief the committee in the upcoming meeting.

About Model-jail project, Chief Commissioner Islamabad said that the PC-1 of the project had been referred to the CWDP for revision.


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