ISLAMABAD – The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Thursday sought complete details of all unpaid loans by various government departments and institutions and financial perks enjoyed by the Economic Affairs Division secretary.

The PAC meeting convened by its Chairman Nadeem Afzal Gondal at the Parliament House reviewed auditory stock of Economic Affairs Division and Ministry of Education for FY-2005-06; took strong notice of an irregular ‘system of loans and their repayment’ by various institutions, which had defaulted on context of ‘non-availability of means to repay’ the loans and sought waivers.

Stressing strict coherent measures for monitoring the affairs of debts incurred by such defaulting institutions, the PAC directed the Economic Affairs Division to submit complete details, including time-frame for return of such loans by 14 major institutions. Among these 14 major regular defaulting institutions and departments, the names of National Highway Authority (NHA), leading with a debt of Rs21, 987million with Wapda, ADBP, IDBP and NLC are quite prominent despite massive grant allocations to them. It has been alleged that these institutions and departments took the issue of repayment of loans literally non-serious. One of the major losses that occur is that foreign based loans incur heavy mark-ups, since allocations are also made from these foreign loans. Meanwhile, the PAC was also informed that Economic Affairs Division secretary, being a member of various national and international donor agencies managed foreign loans for national institutions and departments. He managed a hefty equivalent of $ 15000, a factor that PAC wants to be investigated and sought report. An interesting fact was brought to light that developing nations like Bangladesh, Sudan, Guinea Bissau and Uganda were also provided with loans by Pakistan during 80s and 90s but their return was being refused on the grounds of inability to repay with many debtors requesting investments  on their respective soils instead of repayments.

The PAC was also informed that the Education Ministry had Rs1.2 billion worth of funds at its disposal, while the ministry had submitted its proposals for investing through the Federal Education Board.

The committee reprimanded the Education Ministry for indulging in irrelevant and dubious investment schemes and asked it to concentrate on providing free and quality education to the poor and the needy.