PAC asks Federal Secretary, Civil Aviation Division not to behave like King

ISLAMABAD: Public Account Committee (PAC) has expressed its displeasure with Federal Secretary, Civil Aviation Division for vesting unbridled powers to Civil Aviation Board and remarked that it should not behave like “King” rather than it has to discharge functions within the parameter of laws.

Sub-committee of PAC met on Monday under the chair of MNA Naveed Qamar to scrutinise the accounts of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) financial year 2002-03.

During this period, tales of corruption runs into millions rupees has been unearthed when CAA was directly being controlled by military dictator Musharraf.

Auditor General of Pakistan informed the committee that CAA board decided to bestow private club membership on public money and caused loss of million rupees to national kitty. The incumbent Secretary Civil Aviation Division tried his best to divert the attention of PAC towards other issue, saying that board members have now relieved from the duty and some of them working in defence ministry.

Federal secretary’s observation annoyed Chairman of the committee Naveed Qamar who observed that “hearsay” in the meeting would not be permitted and directed the government to provide the details of the department whose board members are enjoying club membership of public money.

The auditors stunned the committee by revealing that CAA paid over 1.450 million rupees fees on account of reimbursement of club membership that was bestowed to CAA board members during the army rule.

Naveed Qamar questioned is there other government department which has allowed its board members to enjoy this facility and remarked that he had served as finance minister why such facility was not ushered to him if rules allowed it. While scrutinising the accounts of CAA, the committee has now directed the federal secretary to recover 296.153 million rupees from the defaulting airlines including PIAC, Shaheen Air and some other government departments.

Secretary told the committee that government department playing dilly dallying tactics in respect of paying their dues to CAA and resolved to take punitive action for retrieving the lost money.

It was also revealed in audit paras that CAA officer paid 90 million rupees illegally to some senior officials, violating finance division prescribed rules and memorandum.

Audit officers told the committee that CAA officer had miserably failed to recover 84 million rupees surcharge from the airlines companies that had used Jinnah International Airport as the efforts on behalf of the competent authority for recovery has not been observed.

PAC sub-committee was informed by Civil Aviation boss that strenuous efforts are being undertaken for recovering outstanding amount from PIAC and hoped that the issue would be resolved very soon.

The committee was informed that CAA could not execute lease agreement with airport security force, meteorology department, Janbaz force and Agha Khan Foundation, resulting in Rs, 4.810 million loss to the authority.

Sub-committee of PAC Chairman Naveed Qamar annoyed with the absence of Foreign Secretary Chaudhry Aizaz from the meeting and observed that Sectary Foreign Affairs could not devolve financial powers to subordinate.

He said and summoned Foreign Secretary for answering regarding the details of huge corruption done in 2002-03 and put off the hearing into the Foreign Office accounts till the presence of Aizaz Chaudhry.

PAC was informed that Civil Aviation Division had been pursuing the court case vigorously for recovering that PIAC 7.104 million rupees from duty free shop which has been declared defaulter.