Pakistan News

Debt inquiry commission to submit final report within 6 months

ISLAMABAD: The government announced the terms of references of the Commission of Inquiry that has been formed to probe how foreign debts swelled to Rs24,000 billion in the last decade.


According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Division, the commission will have to submit interim reports of progress every month and a final report within six months.


The time limit mentioned above may, however, be extended with the prior approval of the prime minister.


An appropriate budget shall be sanctioned, which the commission shall be entitled to utilise and spend it in its discretion so as to meet the expenditure of the commission.


The commission comprises 12 members and will be headed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Deputy Chairman Hussain Asghar.


In his address to the nation on June 11, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced that his government will make a “high-powered” inquiry commission to investigate the corruption of the last 10 years. The prime minister said that FIA, IB, ISI, FBR and SECP will be part of the inquiry commission.


The commission shall be further empowered to engage any person from the public and private sector, locally or abroad as a member, consultant or advisor for the assistance of the commission.


The terms of reference of the commission of Inquiry shall be as following:

a) Determination of significance of major infrastructure or public sector development works conducted from the year 2008 and commensurate them with the increase in public debt from Rs6,690 billion to Rs30,846 billion till September 2018.


b) To inquire/investigate the award or implementation of any contract or project and whether any debt was taken for a particular project/undertaking and the same was then spent/expended on the corresponding project/undertaking, or, otherwise?


c) Whether any public contract was artificially inflated to facilitate kickbacks? If so, in whose favour?


d) Whether any holders or public office or their spouses, children and any persons connected to them expended any public funds to meet personal or private expenditures, beyond what has been permitted under the law and rules?


e) Whether the cap prescribed under the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act, 2005 (hereafter: “the 2005 Act”) has been busted? If so, the reasons and justifications thereof?


f) Whether the amendments, if any, in the 2005 act were in keeping with the spirit of Article 166 of the Constitution, or, otherwise?


g) Forensic and special audits be conducted through any reputed international or local auditor or set of auditors in order to determine the real nature, scope, volume, cost.


i) In trail of the investments or expenditures of the federal government, or any part thereof, from February 2008 to September 2018.


h) To fix responsibility in respect of the above, and to refer any irregularity or illegality, found for investigation and prosecution to relevant agency/department.

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