Public Accounts Committee Demands Audit of Supreme Court’s Accounts Amidst Transparency Push

In a recent meeting, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has ordered an audit of the Supreme Court’s accounts. This is not the first time that the committee has tried to examine the apex court’s accounts. Last year, the committee had asked for details about the fund set up by former chief justice Saqib Nisar for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the committee also sought information about the salaries, perks, and plots allotted to judges of superior courts. The committee examined the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) audit report as well.

PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan directed the auditor general to provide details of officers posted to a specific station for over three years. However, the FBR did not share the details, which prompted Mr. Khan to question the discrepancy in the income of landlords in Islamabad and the tax paid by them.

The PAC chairman alleged that some landlords owning “palatial houses” in the federal capital are receiving Rs2.5 million monthly rent from their tenants but are not paying any taxes on this income. He directed the FBR chairman to submit details on the matter.

The FBR chairman informed the committee that records have been requested from the Capital Development Authority and requested a week to provide relevant details. The auditors also highlighted that the FBR was unable to recover billions of rupees due to litigation as businessmen quickly obtain a stay order whenever served notice by the tax authority.

The PAC chairman directed the FBR to vigorously pursue these cases and also directed all ministries and departments to share their records with auditors. This move by the PAC is expected to increase transparency and accountability in the financial affairs of the government, including the Supreme Court.

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