Islamabad, Apr 14 : Contrary to the claims of high levels of transparency by the Musharraf regime, an audit report prepared by Pakistan's Auditor General has revealed gross financial irregularities and mismanagement of funds, to the tune of Rs 655 million.
The report has been prepared on the basis of details of accounts of the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority's (ERRA)
During the past week, the country's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has alleged that the Musharraf regime had been posting false figures to portray a booming economy during all the eight years of its rule.
The audit report found out that beneficiaries were over payed Rs1.35 million. While in six cases, Rs 400,000 was paid twice on rent forms bearing the same identity cards, and Rs 275,000 was paid to four beneficiaries without MoU.
Similarly, in nine cases damage assessment forms were accompanied by computerised national identity cards (CNIC) which differed from the ones on MoUs, but the authority paid Rs75,000 to each of the claimants. In 13 of the cases, signatures of the patwari and representatives of the Army Engineering Corps and the government did not tally with their signatures on other forms from the same area, the Dawn quoted the audit report as saying.
During scrutiny of complaints received by the disbursing agencies, it was observed that at the initial stage, Pakistan Army's inspection teams had entered incorrect or incomplete data, rendering individuals ineligible under the criteria set by the authority and the same was processed by Nadra, thus delaying or denying payment to beneficiaries.
The audit also noted that the financial management capacity at the authority's headquarters and its representative units in Azad Kashmir and the NWFP needed to be strengthened. It was observed that ERRA did not put in place effective Management Information System (MIS) with banks for tracking of funds, because of which ERRA, Provincial Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (PERRA) and State Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (SERRA) were unable to confirm the status of payments to beneficiaries.
The financial review also revealed that Rs 3311 million of the total housing reconstruction cash grant had not been confirmed by banks till November 2006 for funds released to beneficiaries till June 30, 2006.