PAC slams parliamentary renovation as waste of funds – Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction with the ongoing renovation of Parliament for the upcoming OIC debate and called the expenditure of Rs 125 million a waste of funds.

Interestingly, the President of the Senate and the President of the National Assembly also want their respective offices to be decorated during the “controversial” renovation of Parliament for the meeting, because members belonging to both the Treasury and the opposition strongly criticized the so-called embellishment.

CDA Member Engineer Syed Munawar Hussain Shah making a detailed presentation to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the renovation of Parliament revealed that the Custodian Offices of both Houses of Parliament are being renovated from of the 125 million rupees budget earmarked for the overhaul. of the main hall where the OIC Foreign Ministers will meet on March 22-23.

Shah told PAC that the lounge in the president’s office was being upgraded as OIC delegates planned to visit his room.

Similarly, Shah added that the Senate Speaker had also requested that his office hallway be renovated and the tiles replaced.

PAC Chairman, Rana Tanveer Hussain, along with other members of the committee, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the expenditure of millions of rupees on renovations and the replacement of quality furniture with substandard furniture.

Hussain criticized Senate Speaker Sadiq Sanjrani for blocking not only the hallway of the parliament building but also the access of parliamentarians from the main building to the library.

He asked the Secretary of the National Assembly to raise this issue with the President of the National Assembly, Asad Qaiser, and that the glass doors be removed to allow free access to everyone within the Parliament.

At the start, Foreign Minister Sohail Mahmood told the PAC that 125 million rupees had been allocated for the renovation since the committee was initially informed that the total amount earmarked for the works was 700 million rupees.

Khawaja Mohammad Asif called it a show-off and said the Saudi government had allocated a full-sized office at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah.

He and other members of the PAC were of the opinion that the venue should have been the Convention Center for this competition.

The CDA president told the committee that he also offered the same venue.

The President of the PAC has decided that in the future such meetings will be held at the convention center or in hotels.

PAC members suggested that the upgrading of parliament should have been done with the demands of the members of the National Assembly and the Senate in mind.

Legislators complained that the CDA had not fulfilled its responsibilities of maintaining Parliament and the boxes of Parliament.

According to Khawaja Asif, rodents are roaming around the parliament pavilions and have started biting residents.

CDA chairman Amir Ali Ahmed has offered to contract out the repair and maintenance of the parliament pavilions to private contractors.

He proposed that the CDA be relieved of the maintenance work of Parliament from the next financial year since there were complaints about the quality of the work.

He said the CDA has spent much of the funds earmarked for upkeep of the lodges on employee salaries.

PTI lawmaker Munaza Hassan snubbed the CDA for initiating the renovations without giving confidence to the relevant house committee.

“Should we start demolishing the CDA offices on our own as it was not their mandate to perform this work in the Parliament Building in this manner,” she said.

Posted in Dawn, March 10, 2022

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