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Transparency, elimination of corruption a must for country’s growth: Customs DG Audit Ikram

Transparency, elimination of corruption a must for country’s growth: Customs DG Audit Ikram

LAHORE: Implementation of transparency and elimination of corruption are inevitable for the country to grow.

A decade before, values were better practiced while these values are getting worse day-by-day which can cause a total collapse of our norm and values. Billions of rupees financial irregularities are pointed out every year and the same repeats every year.

This was the upshot of an exclusive interview of Customs and Petroleum Audit Director General Muhammad Ikram Khan with Customs Today here the other day. The soft spoken Muhammad Ikram Khan, a man of diversified qualities, has vast experience to his credit as he served accounts, audit, customs railways and health department.  “Our department points out billions of rupees irregularities every year which repeat every year. We dig out and pursue them at our levels. We have to present audit reports in the Parliament and then starts the work of parliamentarians,” Khan said.

However, following auditing the accounts of the departments the paragraphs of objections are taken up with the with the Customs and Petroleum authorities, he said, adding that the raised paragraphs are discussed in the meeting with stakeholders including Finance Department, Customs and Petroleum departments, Federal Board of Revenue and the collectorate concerned. The meeting is normally chaired by the Chairman FBR and if he is absent, DG Customs and Petroleum Audit chairs it.

Khan said that the meeting decides ways forward on the reports and paragraph which must be acted upon by the departments which were audited and if the department fails to take action on the paragraph made by the auditors, they are put before the parliament. The paragraphs upon which the department takes compensatory or corrective actions are highlighted as settled.

He disclosed that unfortunately, Customs and Petroleum Audit authorities have never been provided with the complete access to work on and clarify the misappropriations pointed disclosed by the paragraphs. “We have done a series of meetings with the top authorities, moved Supreme Court and informed the parliament in order to get full success to the required data and record in this regard. If we are given half access how it can be possible for the transparency to prevail,” the Customs and Petroleum Audit DG asserted.

He believed that this cannot be possible without the support of the people in the corridors of the power in governments. Ikram is of the view that strict accountability, transparency; openness can resolve various long standing issues with our society.

“Rulers’ insincerity has destroyed the very fabric of the society as people’s money is being spent on rulers’ personal publicity while bureaucracy is also not playing its part. Money and reference are the rule of the day merit exist nowhere in the governmental departments,” he said.

A decade before values were better practiced while these values are getting worse day-by-day which can cause a total collapse of our norm and values, the DG highlighted, adding that judicial system also needs complete overhauling because common people are suffering in the courts.

“Doctors are looting at private clinics, leaving their assignments in government hospitals while teachers are serving in private schools colleges giving up their governmental assignment. We prefer personal welfare over vast national interest which is alarming,” Khan underscored. There are two things which are inevitable for the society one implementation of transparency and second elimination of corruption,” he concluded.