In a recent development, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has denied the approval of executive allowance for the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission (PMIC) due to objections raised by the finance division.
Sources revealed to The Express Tribune that the matter was brought before the economic decision-making body last month when a request for a grant of Rs25 million was presented for the PMIC. The committee was informed that the PMIC had sought an increase in its budget ceiling for the financial year 2022-23.
The PMIC had previously approached the finance division multiple times, requesting an enhancement in the budget ceiling, but it was not fulfilled during the budget for the financial year 2022-23. Consequently, the budget could not be allocated under the ERE (Expenditure and Revenue Estimates) and Non-ERE heads as required by the PMIC.
Furthermore, the PMIC chairman was appointed in the MP-I scale in July 2022, with four members working in BS-22/21 and one member in MP-II.
The provision of executive allowance to officers in BS-17 and above had also led to increased expenditure under the ERE heads of accounts. Insufficient budget allocation under non-ERE heads further added to the challenges in meeting recurring expenditures.
To address these issues, the PMIC submitted a case seeking a supplementary grant of Rs41.986 million for the financial year 2022-23.
The finance division concurred with the proposal and recommended submitting the summary to the ECC for the provision of additional funds up to Rs25 million under both ERE and non-ERE heads of accounts for FY2022-23.
The PMIC then sought the approval of the ECC for the provision of Supplementary Grants (SGs) amounting to Rs25 million under demand 14 under ID1997-PMIC.
During the subsequent discussion, the secretary of the finance division pointed out that an amount of Rs7.679 million had been allocated for executive allowance in the proposed supplementary grant, which was deemed inadmissible for the PMIC.
However, it was revealed that the allowance had been granted to PMIC officers, who had been receiving it for the past two months.
The chairman of the ECC requested the PMIC to provide the order authorising the grant of executive allowance to its officers before the conclusion of the meeting. Unfortunately, the order could not be produced at the time.
Consequently, the ECC approved the proposed supplementary grant of Rs17.320 million excluding the provision for executive allowance of Rs7.679 million, as it was deemed inadmissible to PMIC officers.
The decision comes as a setback for the PMIC, which had sought additional funds to meet its operational requirements. The rejection of the executive allowance poses challenges in managing the commission’s expenses and may impact its functioning in the coming months.
As the government aims to streamline expenditure and optimise budget allocations, the incident sheds light on the complexities of financial decision-making and the need for close scrutiny of expenditures in various departments and commissions.