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Scam case: AGP issues audit plan for Punjab’s public sector companies

LAHORE (NNI): Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) on Monday issued audit plan for different public sector companies in a case pertaining to mammoth irregularities in the firms.

According to the schedule, the audit will begin in different companies from November 25 to December 10 and will continue till January. For this purpose, various officers have been deployed on duties.

Auditor General is responsible to conduct audit of the companies bearing public money; however; the public sector companies of Punjab refused to do so, raising several questions.

Punjab government ordered the audit after Dunya News Investigation Wing, on October 20, unearthed massive irregularities worth over Rs80 bn in financial matters of 56 companies formed by Punjab government.

Punjab companies scam case

As per details garnered, Punjab government had constituted 56 companies under guise of good governance and registered them under Article-42 of Companies Ordinance 1984. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was inspired by the Turkish model and therefore summoned analysts from the same.

While deliberately turning a blind eye towards similar local companies operating in Pakistan, Sharif-led Punjab govt awarded dozens of contracts to Turkish conglomerates on hefty paybacks.

Before formation of these companies, 113970 employees were working in different departments across Punjab and the figure augmented to 157500 following arrival of Turkish corporations.

Rules were either disregarded or revoked while contracts were given on basis of sheer nepotism, thus inflicting hefty losses on provincial exchequer as Shehbaz Sharif issued mammoth Rs150 bn funds in this regard. Earlier, only six companies were formed but the amount soared to 56 in years to come.

What adds to the ambiguity of the matter is the fact that Punjab government doesn’t audit the financial and administrational matters of these companies via Punjab Accountant General whereas audit reports of four companies were not made public. Likewise, administration and financial record of at least 38 companies is also missing.

At least 65 officials appointed in these companies are withdrawing salary ranging from Rs3 lacs to Rs15 lacs per month. Waste management companies across Punjab achieved merely 25pc of set targets.

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