Update: The Ministry of Finance has rebuffed news reports claiming that the first audit report of the incumbent government has unearthed irregularities and corruption of Rs. 270 billion during FY 2018-19.
In an official statement, the ministry has termed these reports as ‘baseless, misinformed, and erroneous,’ saying that the audit report for the last fiscal year, like all others, consists of preliminary observations.
It identifies some gaps in completing formalities while processing different cases by government entities and indicates various shortcomings in the provision of documents to the audit teams in certain other instances. But to conclude that each procedural deficiency is tantamount to corruption is incorrect and misleading.
It added that what report identifies are procedural deficiencies, and are not evidence of corruption – let alone ‘conclusive proof’ of corruption as certain sections of the media have attempted to portray.
The first audit report of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has pointed out irregularities and corruption worth Rs. 270 billion in dozens of government departments and ministries.
According to reports, the Auditor General of Pakistan has prepared the audit report of 2019-20 after conducting an audit of 40 ministries and departments.
It has revealed corruption and fake receipts in ministries and departments to the tune of Rs. 12.56 billion. It stated that recovery cases of Rs. 79.59 billion in federal ministries were reported and a record of Rs. 17.96 billion was not provided to the auditor general by government departments.
The report further revealed that Rs. 8.89 billion in corruption cases had been reported owing to weak internal controls and cases worth Rs. 152.20 billion were reported due to poor financial management.
The auditor general recommended that government institutions should not be allowed to undertake expenditures unless approved from the parliament and similarly, to not allow supplementary grants to these institutions without the parliament’s approval.
He recommended that corruption cases should be handed over to investigative agencies.