AGP’s report on TBTTP KP based on facts or assumptions?

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As per the rules and regulation, a special audit is done on completion of any project. Why was the urgency shown regarding TBTTP?

Mumtaz Ahmed Bhatti

AGP’s report on TBTTP KP is based on facts or assumptions? As per the rules and regulation, a special audit is done on completion of any project. Why was the urgency shown regarding TBTTP? A special audit has been conducted in haste for political revenge? In June, the current government asked the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) to conduct an audit of the Billion Tree Tsunami Project, which was initiated by the PTI government.

According to the Ministry, “To ensure transparency and value for money of the programme, it is necessary to conduct a financial audit of TBTTP which has not been conducted so far, as the program is likely to be completed in 2023… a special Audit should be conducted for the financial years 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-22. A special audit of TBTTP was conducted. According to the audit report, during the three-year special audit of PTI’s flagship 10-Billion Tree Tsunami Project (BTTPT), irregularities of over Rs 3.493 billion have been detected. The auditor has declared payment of Rs 1259 million as doubtful and expenditure of Rs 983 million as fictitious.

fake monitoring reports were generated for the entire Mardan Division.different forest divisions showed plantation of eucalyptus in violation of the PC-1 allocation of 10% of the total plantation. The scrutiny of the record revealed that 36% eucalyptus plantation was made against the 10% provision of the PC-1. the DFO DI Khan carried out different activities in waterlogged areas while as per the monitoring report, the said areas were dry and not waterlogged.

Rs.25.97 million were incurred for the purchase of various materials, but no stock register as well as tender documents were shown for audit to authenticate the procurement, usage and issuance of the said material, which made the whole expenditure of Rs 25.97 million doubtful. uncertified and ungraded seeds obtained from unauthentic sources not only caused Rs109.365 million losses to the government but also increased the failure chances. some officials did fake reporting of the project achievements which were duly verified by the monitoring team of the PMU. The fake reporting was carried out in Chitral, Dir Kohistan, Lower Dir, Malakand, Kunhar Watershed and Unhar Watershed Forest Divisions.

The auditor is of the view that reporting fake areas was a fraudulent practice that might not be justified. there is a high risk of misappropriation in the establishment of enclosures. The high degree of overlapping put a question mark on the management and professionalism of the whole chain of command. According to the AGP report,The whole chain of command was responsible for these irregularities and losses and should be determined. AGP’s audit team ignored some ground realities  in its report. For example, government land and private land have also been included in the report that has been issued regarding Eucalyptus more than ten percent plantation.

Because Eucalyptus plantation is done as a cash crop in KP South. Eucalyptus is the only desire of private landowners. Will the report of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, AJK and GB be similar after KP? The issue of 3.49bn irregularities is not so small. If the allegations made in the AGP report are true, it is a matter of high concern. And if the facts have been distorted in this report, then it is very dangerous for this project and for Pakistan in terms of environment. A detailed investigative report on this report will be published very soon.