STAFF REPORT IBD: The procurement of sub-standard rice and its late disposal inflicted Rs 11 billion loss to the national exchequer, says a report the Auditor-General of Pakistan.

The report said that Passco suffered huge losses as the paddy, particularly purchased in Sindh, was of poor quality, wet and sub-standard. The Corporation was required to sell its rice stocks in March or April 2009, however, the management stocked the rice for about two years and sold it slowly.

The audit suggested that the management should have investigated the procurement and disposal process which caused huge losses. The matter was reported to the management on November 28, 2011, however, Passco rejected the allegations. It said that the losses sustained by Passco had been picked up by the federal government because ‘wet rice’ was procured and disposed of in accordance with the directives of the ministry of food and agriculture.

The reply was not convincing as funds provided, acquired or generated by the Corporation were public funds and those should have been utilised with due care and caution. The DAC, in its meeting held on January 27 this year, had directed the management that the case be referred to the ministry for an inquiry into the matter.

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