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Supreme Court orders budget audit, seeks details of judges’ salaries, perks and plots – Pakistan

Supreme Court orders budget audit, seeks details of judges' salaries, perks and plots - Pakistan

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has ordered the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) to audit the budget of the Supreme Court, submit a comprehensive report on salaries, perks and facilities and plots allotted to the judges of the Supreme Court. Given.

PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan directed AGP Muhammad Ajmal Gondal to submit the report by March 30, saying that the matter has already suffered a lot of delay, no more time will be given.

Chairman PAC Noor Alam Khan reminded Ajmal Gondal that “we don’t even know how much the judges are getting paid”, and the Parliament’s accountability forum is still waiting for a reply.

He inquired that Mr. AGP, the Public Accounts Committee wants to ask where and how much public and government money is being spent, how much salary is being paid (to judges) and what privileges and facilities are being given to them. . “I have repeatedly asked for these details,” Noor Alam Khan added, giving details about each judge and how many plots were given to them. You have to submit the report to us and we will not delay it further.

Amidst talk of provincial elections and snap polls, Chairman PAC at one point expressed hope that the government would complete its term, saying “we are here till August”.

“If anyone has to do it, then I am starting this audit,” Noor Alam Khan said while hearing murmurs about the Supreme Court’s audit order before setting a March 30 deadline for submitting the report. “

He then formally ordered that “the Public Accounts Committee directs that the Supreme Court be audited”.

The Supreme Court’s directives on audit came during the PAC meeting convened to review the audit paragraph of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

During the meeting, it was revealed that the FBR is reluctant to give the AGP office access to its data for audits, citing security concerns, and says it will give the AGP a compact disc (CD). Ready to give data.

On security concerns, Sheikh Rohail Asghar of Muslim League (N) reminded the committee that FBR data was hacked some time ago.

MNA Malik Mukhtar Ahmed added that the FBR data was not only hacked but also sold on the dark web for $10,000.

He said the hacking happened because the FBR was using pirated software.

Looking at the audit paragraphs, Shahida Akhtar Ali of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) noted that the government recently brought a “mini-budget” of Rs 170 billion, but the total amount of the FBR’s 20 audit paragraphs for one year It was equal to 143 billion rupees.

Lamenting that this is the state of affairs of a department that deals with the financial problems of the entire country, Mukhtar Ahmed said the value of the money is rapidly depreciating due to lengthy litigation.

Reacting, Chairman FBR Asim Ahmed said that the committee will also see how much money is left after appeals and litigation.

In response to the question whether the FBR will be able to achieve its annual tax target? Asim Ahmed vowed that the FBR would achieve the target, hoping that once the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal was restored, import pressure would ease.

He said that economically the situation will start improving by the end of this month.

Among other matters, the committee also discussed the issue of dollar smuggling in Afghanistan and goods being smuggled from neighboring countries including Iran.

PAC member Nuzhat Pathan raised the issue of smuggling of goods through buses carrying pilgrims to Iran, alleging that customs and agency officials take bribes to grant clearance.

Nizhat Pathan questioned why FBR does not see all this. “FBR presence is only at notified check posts.”

The FBR chairman replied, FBR does not have such access at the borders.

The PAC chairman added that going after a particular organization every time was not the right thing to do.

Asim also told PAC that he recently raised the issue of smuggling with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and told him that the Interior Ministry was made the focal ministry for anti-trafficking activities, but later FB R is asked to respond to trafficking.

He disclosed that the Prime Minister has replied that FBR will soon be made the focal department in this regard.

Member Customs Operations Mukram Jah Ansari informed PAC that more rumors were created about dollars being smuggled into Afghanistan than reality.

He said that the customs authorities have seized dozens of cases of currency smuggling, each of which has an amount of around 5,000 and 8,000 dollars.

Makram Jah Ansari said that last year, $4.5 million worth of currency, including euros, pounds and others, was seized from airports and border areas.

On this, a member said that letters of credit for industries have been stopped but currency smuggling continues.

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