ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) senior lawmaker Rana Tanvir Hussain was yesterday elected unopposed as chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

All the members of the parliamentary accountability body including treasury members, in a show of unanimity, once again elected another member from PML-N.

Former chairman PAC/Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, on November 18, had nominated Rana Tanvir Hussain as his replacement. Sharif was not chairing the meetings of public accounts committee for the last couple of months.

“Public Accounts Committee would be made functional to dispose of pending audit objections,” said Rana Tanvir after assuming charge as chairman PAC. Tanvir also thanked his party and members from opposition parties for electing him unopposed.

PPP-P’s Sherry Rehman said Public Accounts Committee should form a work plan for the upcoming proceeding of the body. She pointed out a number of loopholes in the parliamentary Accounts Committee. Another member of PAC also endorsed the point raised by Sherry Rehman.

Rana Tanvir Hussain was named for the position by PTI’s Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dreshak, PML-N Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed and PPP leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf for the slot.

Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, a couple of days before, had accepted resignation of Mian Shehbaz Sharif as PAC chairman. As per the parliamentary tradition, leader of opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif is given charge of chairman Public Accounts Committee.

Opposition leader Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, in PML-N’s era, had also served as chairman Public Accounts Committee. Likewise, opposition leader from PPP-P Syed Khursheed Shah had also chaired the parliamentary accountability body. The tradition was violated when Ch Nisar Ali Khan had tendered resignation as PAC chairman and Nadeem Afzal Chan was given the slot.

In PTI government era, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, as per the Charter of Democracy (CoD), was nominated as PAC chairman by opposition parties. Prime Minister Imran Khan had raised objection on it but after some months he agreed to give the important slot to Shehbaz Sharif.

The PAC has to dispose a large number of audit objections of previous government era. The audit objections of different ministries including Interior, Defence, Communication, Information and others has been pending for the last many years.

Sources said the upcoming meeting of the body will review the audit objections of PPP-P era of 2012-13.

The committee will also move to discuss the objections in the last government era [PML-N]. PML-N leader Rana Tanvir Hussain as chairman PAC, according to the tradition of the parliamentary accountability body, would not chair the meeting when audit objections of PML-N era would be reviewed.

APP adds: Rana Tanvir Hussain after his election thanked all the members of PAC. “I have no objection if the members suggest making another subcommittee to discuss audit paras made during the PML-N government,” said the newly elected chairman.

He warmly welcomed the suggestions and recommendations from the members of PAC to make the committee more effective. Rana Tanvir also called a first in-camera briefing from the PAC secretariat to deliberate and bring structural changes in the committee.

He assured his support above the party lines to all the members.

Muhammad Sana Ullah Khan Masti Khel in his short speech said that Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was a judiciary of the Parliament and its chairman was chief justice.

Syed Tariq Hussain said that the PAC should reviews fresh paras along with old paras because in many cases the committee seemed to be helpless.

Riaz Fatyana suggested that the PAC should have judicial power for implementation of its recommendations.

He requested the newly elected chairman for a fresh law to be passed according to which PAC should also have suo moto powers.

Rana Tanvir Hussain welcomed all suggestions and said that the backlog should be removed on priority basis which would automatically improve the performance of PAC.

He said the meeting of the PAC would be called twice a month.