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Pakistan watchdog urges transparency in government institutions


Islamabad: A Pakistan economy watchdog Tuesday urged enhanced transparency in government organisations to ensure efficiency and prosperity.

The legality of the process through which a government department can own a private

company is vague and is, therefore, exploited, Online news agency quoted Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) spokesperson Mirza Riaz as saying in a statement.

He said different government organisations had created private companies through which

hiring, firing, procurements and awarding juicy contracts were carried out bypassing rules and regulations.

These companies were formed with government money and yet were not state-owned entities. Their assets, liabilities, spending, contracting, inventories and other matters remained beyond the jurisdiction of annual audits, Riaz added.

Quoting an example, he said that Pakistan Revenue Automation Ltd (PRAL) was a

private organisation that is owned by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and therefore gets almost all its contracts without tenders being floated.

“At the same time, it escapes all government obligations and controls on the plea that it is a private company,” Riaz pointed out.

He also questioned the role of donor agencies like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank that were silent over this violation and had pumped in billions of dollars over the last 15 years to improve the working of the FBR, the apex tax collecting body.

The laid down procedure of inviting tenders for spending amounts above Rs.50,000 was

being openly violated, Riaz noted.

Islamabad-based PEW is an independent forum on the world economy with a special focus on Pakistan. It is run by a team of experts devoted to Pakistan and its economy.