ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (APP): The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Tuesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit a report about progress in financial irregularities’ probes of worth over Rs 298.08 million in attached departments of Ministry of Industries and Production as revealed in the audit report of financial year 2013-14.

The PAC meeting chaired by Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, was told that NAB authorities were not updating the ministry about the progress in probe into financial irregularities of Rs 72.38 million in Ceramic Development and Training Complex (CTDC), Rs 96.60 million and Rs 129.4 million in Gujrawnala Tools, Dies and Moulds Centre (GTDMC) as revealed by Accountant General Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) in its audit report regarding unauthorized purchases by attached departments of Ministry of Industries and Production during the financial year 2012-13.

During the audit of CDTC Gujranwala for 2012-13, it was revealed that three machines valuing Rs 72.38 million were imported from Italy in 2010-11 sans requirement, which were lying idle, consequently Rs 72.38 million had gone waste.

The ministry had referred the case to NAB but no progress was reported in the case. According to the CDTC management, the case was being investigated by the NAB.

The PAC was told that GTDMC procured laser cutting/marking machines of Rs 96.60 million from M/S Aerolites in June 2009, ignoring the set procedure and rules.

The audit report revealed that the GTDMC management had purchased vertical machining centre Rs 129.40 million sans approval of tender committee and the NAB had not updated the ministry about the progress in probe.

The auditors observed that the monitoring system of the Ministry of Industries and Production was very weak.

Sardar Aashiq Hussein Gopang said the performance of NAB on the cases of the ministry was unsatisfactory.

Secretary Industries and Production said the ministry had suspended the responsible officials and the case was sent to the NAB.

He also told the PAC that Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) had been closed since June 10, 2015. The PSM owed some Rs 170 billion. The Sindh government had shown interest in purchasing the mills, he added.

The PAC urged the government to avoid privatization of the PSM and give a baleout package.

PAC Chairman Khursheed Shah said gas connection of the PSM had been severed.