ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Television former chairman Attaul Haq Qasmi spent 730 nights in a guest house without approval, causing a loss of Rs2.1 million to the exchequer, an audit report submitted to the Supreme Court revealed.

“Mr Qasmi stayed at the guest house of Shalimar Radio and Broadcasting Corporation Limited (SRBC) from January 2016 to December 2017 (730 nights) without any written or verbal approval of PTV,” the audit report said adding that he was not entitled to any accommodation facility as per the notification of the ministry.

The audit report said that according to the PTV record, the invoice had not been settled yet.

It further said that 2 out of purchased 18 LEDs were used for the same guest house, where he used to stay, while a computer, a mobile phone, a garden umbrella, chairs and a refrigerator totalling Rs0.78 million was purchased without following the standard procurement process.

The audit report further said that after assuming the charge of chairman, Qasmi stayed at Ramada Hotel Islamabad incurring Rs0.28 million while he was not entitled to this accommodation.

Likewise, the report revealed that Qasmi had sought a membership of Islamabad Club causing a further loss of Rs1.54 million to the exchequer.

According to the report, the notification issued by the ministry referred to MP1 entitlements, however, entertainment of Qasmi was not included in MP1 entitlements.

It further stated that the membership and monthly subscription of Islamabad Club were not in line with the entitlement of the notification and against the PTV rules while former managing director PTV SM Gardezi approved the membership. In pursuance of the top court’s order, a representative of a chartered accountant firm, EY, on Tuesday submitted the audit report regarding expenditures incurred by Qasmi.

The report further stated that PTV rules do not allow fuel and maintenance expenses of a personal vehicle but the PTV borne out all the expenses of his personal vehicle as well as official vehicle adding that he was given two vehicles.

“Rs0.56 million were spent on Qasmi’s telephones including his Islamabad’s office, the guest house and the mobile phone,” it said.

Regarding the office renovation, the report stated that the ministry did not include an office entitlement in Islamabad but the board had entitled the former chairman adding that Qasmi got his office, a retiring room and PSO’s office was renovated and PPRA rules were not followed while the expenditure incurred on the renovation was Rs1.08 million.

“Rs1.35 million was spent on camp office despite the fact that the camp office is not allowed under the rules. Neither the notification nor PTV rules allowed a camp office for the chairman. Initial request, in January 2016, for renovation and purchase of equipment was withheld by the then MD Muhammad Malick. It was again raised in March 2016 and approved by the then MD SM Gardezi. Instead of the renovated office, Mr Qasmi used the office of the General Manager, Lahore,” the report said.

The press advertisement expenses of his TV programme ‘Koye Hu’unn Ki Justaju’, cost Rs55.1 million, the report stated and added that the standard process of designing.

“As per PTV, a total commercial airtime of 4533 minutes equivalent to Rs144,232,892 was utilized on the promotional videos of the programme. We corroborated the airtime through a third party and estimated a commercial airtime value of Rs174,170,592. However, as no commercial airtime was dropped due to promos of the programme. It is unlikely that PTV suffered a loss of the commercial value stated above,” the report said.

It further said that “Qasim’s gross salary was Rs48.246 million adding that the salary was paid in accordance with Ministry’s notification but historically PTV chairmen were the federal secretaries, deputed on an ex-officio. Mr. Qasmi was the only chairman who was paid salary,” the report said.

The report further revealed that Rs1.4 million were incurred as he travelled to Belarus to attend an international book exhibition at the approval of the ministry but the visit was made prior to the approval and there appeared to be no business between PTV and the book exhibition.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar after going through the report directed for the provision of its copies to Advocate Ayesha Hamid, counsel for Qasmi, the former information minister and Senator Pervez Rashid, the Ministry of Information and the Attorney General for Pakistan.

Qasmi’s counsel Hamid will file the objections on the report within two-weeks.