Lahore: Pakistan Muslim League-Like mind secretary general Hamayun Akhtar Khan has said that all the money had been settled that he drawn.In his response to the observations made by the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)alleging that he was a defaulter on account of traveling and daily allowances during the period of 2004-2005.
Hamayun Akhtar Khan said all advances drawn from EMDF were for official purposes and were used for travelling and were settled by sending the bills/vouchers to the TDAP/EPB. This has been confirmed to him by his officers who were running his office at that time and the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) which was managing the EMDF. The issue right now seems to be not that I am a defaulter, but lack of reconciliation of records between the Ministry of Commerce and the TDAP. The PAC Chairman, before making the matter public and trying to malign me, should have asked the Ministry of Commerce and TDAP to reconcile their records. The PAC will be getting proper replies from me and I am confident the committee will find everything in order.
With respect to the second issue of unauthorized payment of bills on account of mobile phone charges from EMDF, may I say that after the Foreign Minister the Commerce Minister travels the most, internationally and nationally, to promote exports and to conduct bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations. While traveling the Minister has to remain in touch with hundreds of people within and outside the country on a constant basis. It is a valid charge on EMDF as the usage was to promote and enhance Pakistan’s trade profile. EMDF is meant to augment the ability of the Commerce Ministry to promote Pakistan trade profile. These audit objections in the past have been regularized as I am sure the Commerce Ministry would be able to have them regularized through proper channel.
The PAC Chairman is well advised to focus on the billions that have been squandered under our noses for the last five years rather than pointing fingers, prematurely and without evidence, to one of the best and transparently run Ministries during that time.