PAC forms sub-committee to probe PCB's fiscal irregularities

The sub-committee, headed by veteran politician Khawaja Asif, would fix the responsibilities for the Pakistan Cricket Board's financial irregularities, unearthed by Auditor-General of Pakistan in its report on PCB's accounts between 2003 and 2008.
The PAC, which met today under the chairmanship of opposition leader Chaudhary Nisar, appointed the committee.

The period of auditing by the AG's office covers the tenures of three Chairmen -- Tauqir Zia, Shaharyar Khan and Nasim Ashraf.

"The report of financial irregularities in the board is a matter of great concern and we want to find out who is responsible for these irregularities all these years," Nisar told reporters after the meeting which was also attended by Chairman of the Board Ejaz Butt.
The AG's report has highlighted that in the five years there were gross financial irregularities including spending money without proper authorisation, planning and there was wastage and misuse of around Rs 500 million.

Butt also submitted the revised AG's report to the PAC.

The AG's report points out that former Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi was illegally paid Rs 87 million as salaries and perks by the Board.
It also pointed out that the Board spent around Rs 150 million on renovation and construction of grounds without calling for tenders and also noted that the PCB took out insurance of Rs 97 million on home series against Australia without proper preparation causing loss to the Board.

Nisar asked the Board to cooperate fully with the probe committee and help it get to the bottom of the truth.

The National Accountability Bureau has also opened up a separate case of misappropriation of funds by former PCB Chairman Ashraf.
Butt told the committee that efforts were also on by the powerful lobbies to grab PCB's land in Karachi and that he was receiving threats to stop fighting a case on the land of 100 acres.

Butt also told the PAC that despite having paid Rs 5 million advance fee for land in Islamabad, on which PCB wanted to build a stadium of international standard, there was no move by the authorities to hand over the land.
"I have even brought this matter to the notice of the Prime Minister and sought his help," he said.

Butt also called on PAC to recommend to the government to make the PCB a tax free organisation as it was a sports body and not a business house.

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