Thursday, May 15, 2008

APP-Pakistan: Senators demand audit of UNDP accounts

ISLAMABAD, May 14 (APP): Senators on Wednesday have demanded an audit of the expenditures of Rs 5 billion funds provided to the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) by the government, which was not allowed by concerned authorities.

Responding to a point of order in the Upper House of the Parliament, Leader of the House, Mian Raza Rabbani said the government is holding back a tranche of Rs 874 million of the Commission after its chief declined to hold audit of the Commission’s accounts.

He said Commission had not allowed the audit of the expenditures of Rs 5 billion fund provided by the government besides an amount of US$ 27.8 million raised by NCHD from international donors including the UNDP, World Bank and USAID.

The Leader of the House in Senate said as per the demand of the senators from both sides, the matter should have been brought to the notice of the prime minister so that he might order a detailed audit into the accounts of the Commission which was established for the welfare of the common man.

He added that the Commission should give detailed presentation to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani regarding its expenditures and projects.

Responding to another point of order, Raza Rabbani said Pakistan Air Force has acquired 60,000 acres of land in Lasbella to be used for firing range.

He quoted the Secretary Defense saying that the title of land would not be transferred and it would be used for the testing of aircraft being manufactured in Kamrah with the cooperation of China.

However, he said the compensation being provided to the land owners falling in the premises of firing range is yet unknown to him, adding that he would inform the House later.

Later, after the consensus from both sides, the Chairman Senate moved the matter to the Senate Standing Committee on Defense to resolve the compensation issue of the land owners and ensure the proper usage of land.

It is worth mentioning that the Senators on Tuesday had expressed fears that the land would be misused. Some of them went on to say that it might be used for developing housing societies instead of firing range.

Regarding tribal feuds in Sindh province, he said the Inspector General has given a detailed briefing to the concerned chief minister who would appoint an advisor to dedicate his services for the very cause.

To another point of order, the Leader of the House said the government would not take any decision about the allotment of land to UAE-based firm for Mirani Dam against prescribed rules.

He said the firm has signed a 20-year lease agreement with local farmers against Rs6, 500 per acre annual.

He told the House that matter would further be discussed in a meeting with the chief minister of Balochistan as was desired by the firm.

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