Auditor General report finds Rs14b irregularities in five Punjab depts

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Financial irregularities and fraud to the tune of Rs14 billion have been found in five big departments in Punjab on Saturday.

In Punjab auditor general’s 2021-2022 report, financial irregularities of more than Rs14 billion were reported in five big departments of Punjab which included communication and construction, irrigation, local bodies, S&GDA and energy. The report mentioned several cases of fraud.

The auditor general has put recoveries worth Rs12 billion on these departments for the embezzlement found in these departments.

According to the report, there was no production of record of Rs110 million. It’s related to expenditure but its record was not provided to the auditor general team.

The Punjab auditor general team found fraud cases to the tune of Rs260 million in other cases. Overpayments of Rs670.95 million have been made to contractors in some cases. Irregular allotments in violation of PEPRA rules have also been made.

Illegal contracts worth Rs370.64 million were awarded in breach of PEPRA rules. Besides this, the contractors were given relaxation of Rs980.5 million.

The contractors were also given relaxation in toll tax and were allowed to skip Rs140 million in toll tax which is a mandatory tax for them. The recovery shown under the head of toll tax was Rs100 million much less than the actual amount.

According to the report, the Punjab departments have failed to show good performance in revenue mobilization, especially the communication and irrigation departments which are responsible for collecting toll tax.

The report was sent to the Chief Minister House for its approval and after that it was presented to public order committee so that the concerned officers of these departments could be taken to task.