Ministries cautioned on striking direct deals with donors

* Committee says government should control funding by donors to any state or private department

ISLAMABAD: A sub-body of the Public Accounts Committee told all ministries, departments and organisations that since the country is passing through a critical situation care should be taken in agreements with donor agencies.
The sub committee said the government should control funding of the donor agencies’ to any state or private department and that all funding should come through the government. Convener of the sub-committee, Shafqat Mehmood advised direct funding to any department be disallowed and rules should be followed. The convener expressed views while taking up audit observations of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The PAC was informed that the Northern Area Transport Corporation (pvt) limited (NATCO) has 100 buses and more than 120 trucks that are used for cargo purposes. The government of GB runs the company and it usually remains in profit. 
The main source of profit is from its cargo fleet. These transport companies operate on different routes of GB, including the main and far-flung routes where private transporters avoid going due to sectarian clashes. A proper monitoring system of the NATCO is in place.
Kashmir Affairs and GB Secretary Shahidullah Baig said that in the northern areas, no airline is willing to go where these buses go to serve the people.
Through another audit, the committee was informed that GB has 28,000MW potential but due to insufficient funds the government is unable to fully utilise its potential.
GB secretary said the local people were provided cheaper electricity. The convener suggested that there is river turned hydel power generation in GB and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but why cannot the government give top priority to it.
He suggested that the utilisation of proper planned hydropower potential may rid the country of expensive thermal power. Shafqat Mehmood also warned the government of environment pollution from thermal power generation, as is the case in some Chinese cities. He said clean coal machines are required before installing coal-fired power generation plants.
It is noteworthy that PM Nawaz Sharif had on May 24 approved two additional coal-fired power plants to be built by the government in Gaddani. Attractive tariff for coal-fired power plants has drawn investors from around the world to Pakistan. In effect, two coal-fired power plants are being established at Qadirabad in Sahiwal District.

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