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Pakistan: Audit shows financial irregularities, distribution of substandard food during COVID pandemic

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Islamabad | December 1, 2021 6:48:50 AM IST
An audit report on Pakistan's COVID-19 expenditure has pointed out massive financial irregularities and distribution of food unfit for human consumption.

The report on "expenditures incurred on Covid-19 by federal government" was released by the finance ministry, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.

The report has shown irregularities in government interventions to ensure the availability of five essential items -- sugar, wheat flour, oil and ghee, pulses and rice -- in Utility Stores at subsidised rates.

The audit report has also shown that apart from financial misappropriations and irregularities, the Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USC) also procured spurious food items that have been graded 'unfit' for human consumption.

USC is the authority that is responsible for providing food to the poorer segments in the country, at comparatively cheaper rates than the market.

The report has shown irregularities of up to PKR 5.24 billion in purchases of sugar, ghee and wheat flour by the USC.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country, the Imran Khan government had launched the Prime Minister's Relief Package in 2020 and PKR 10bn was released to the USC in March that year to provide food items at subsidised rates to the vulnerable section of society, reported Dawn.

The report also stated that the USC management, neither itself tested the quality of the commodities purchased nor were the quality and safety parameters ensured from the vendors. (ANI)

 
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