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Unaudited financial matters of KPT annoy NA Standing Committee

NA body forms sub-committee to fix responsibility, approves PSDP proposals of Ministry of Ports and Shipping

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping, Monday, expressed serious concerns over not conducting external audit of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) for last five years.

As per Karachi Port Trust Act, 1886 and amended in 2002, KPT is required to conduct external audit every year. Therefore, the NA committee formed a sub-committee under the supervision of Chaudhary Tariq Bashir Gheema to look into the matter and fix responsibility for transgression of law.

“The sub-committee will report back to main committee in one month time,” Committee Chairman Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah told this scribe.

The NA committee met in Karachi to scrutinse the budgetary proposals of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping relating to the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for upcoming fiscal year as well as to discuss the land dispute related issues of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT).

In this regard, Ghulam Mustafa Shah told that during discussion, a disclosure was made that financial management and fiscal arrangements of KPT had not been audited for last five years.

“Therefore, committee expressed its annoyance over this state of affairs of the KPT and formed a sub-committee to look into the matter with clear directions to fix responsibility on KPT officers who avoided or blocked external audit of KPT,” he said.

He further said that the sub-committee would prepare its report in one month’s time and report back to main committee and on the basis of report the main committee would forward recommendations to the National Assembly.

To a question about the committee’s decision about the budgetary proposals of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and attached departments, Shah said that committee approved the budgetary proposals moved by the ministry.

Documents available with this scribe reveal that Port Qasim Authority (PQA) prepared budgetary estimates of over Rs 246 billion for the fiscal year 2016-17. These estimates have been given for two ongoing and one proposed projects.

PSDP proposals have been presented to parent ministry of Ports and Shipping and ministry will move these proposals to the parliamentary committees for reviewing and approval. After approval from the parliamentary committees, these proposals will be forwarded to Finance Division for incorporation in the budgetary estimates of the ministry and attached departments.

Similarly, the Gwadar Port Authority has moved budgetary proposals of Public Sector Development Projects (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2016-17 to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping.

These proposals include budgetary estimates of Rs 110 million for two new proposed projects. These projects include feasibility study for construction of petroleum/petrochemical and dry bulk terminal-PC-II to be submited this year and Rehabilitation of Auction Hall Gwadar Fish Harbour-Cum-Mini Port-PC -I to be submitted this year.

Moreover, Marine Fisheries Department has moved PSDP proposals for four ongoing and one new project for the next fiscal year. In this regard budget estimates of over Rs 217 million have been moved which have been approved by the committee.

Furthermore, Pakistan Marine Academy moved budgetary estimates over Rs 683 million for four PSDP projects before the committee and committee approved all with little bit amendments.

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