ISLAMABAD -  The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed on Tuesday that former PASCO MD Major General Tauqeer Ahmed caused the national kitty a loss of over Rs60 million in purchase of 3.3 million substandard polythene bags in violation of PPRA rules.

The parliamentary body met with opposition leader Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah in the chair to review the audit objections of 2013-14 raised by the Ministry of IPC and Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The parliamentary body asked the concerned authority to submit a report in a fortnight. The PASCO officials purposed to send the matter to the military command, but it was rejected by the committee members.

The secretary of the Ministry of Housing argued that MD Tauqeer was in service so enquiry be made under the Army rules, but his suggestion was rejected. He also proposed to conduct the enquiry under the additional secretary, but this proposal was also not approved.

Responding to a question about the appointment of a serving army official as managing director, he said the PASCO MD was appointed with prime minister’s approval.

Audit official said that substandard polythene bags were purchased in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules.

PASCO Managing Director Khan Muhammad Khichi told the committee that these polythene bags were not used due to poor quality. Other members also raised concerns over the matter and asked the chairman to seek report on it.

The committee also discussed alleged irregularities of Rs270 million at the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC). The chairman of PAC ordered the concerned authority to submit a report to committee after holding an enquiry within 20 days.

PAC Member Senator Azam Swati told the committee that Dr Riaz, who was accused of Rs980 million corruption, had been made head of PIMS again. The committee also sought a report from the concerned quarters on the matter.

The PAC meeting, for the first time, was attended by five senators. In order to empower the body, the representation of senators was introduced on the pattern of India. Senators Sherry Rehman, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Tanvir Khan, Azam Swati and Hidayatullah attended the meeting of the PAC.

The inclusion of senators in PAC was made after the Senate (on July 28, 2016) had adopted a motion, approving amendments to give representation to members of the Senate in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which previously comprised members of the National Assembly only.