Health dept, bank officials blame each other for lapse of Rs40m

Dawn

TAXILA: An amount of Rs40.31 million allocated to the health department Attock for the fiscal year 2018-19 remained undisbursed due to a row between the treasury branch of the government owned bank and the health department.
As the amount lapsed at the end of the financial year, officials of the two departments are blaming each other for the lapse of the amount.
Sources in the health department said 130 cheques for Rs40.31 million had been issued to different government utility departments such as PTCL, Iesco, SNGPL as well as individuals, firms and suppliers of medicines and machinery to the district headquarters hospital (DHQ) on June 28, the closing date of the financial year 2018-19 set by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
However, the cheques remained un-deposited in the bank leading to the lapse of the amount.
According to the health department, when its staff visited the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) branch in the Attock city during the notified time it was closed.
According to sources, the SBP had notified that all treasury branches would remain open till 8pm on June 28.
When contacted, District Accounts Officer Umer Hayat Abbasi said the department had issued cheques amounting to Rs40.31 million for payment to various vendors, contractors and government departments in lieu of their dues.
He said for the closing date of the fiscal year, prior notices of the amount and last date were already issued to the concerned quarters, including the joint director SBP, NBP Attock, deputy commissioner and additional sessions judge for necessary action and arrangements.
He said when the officials of the district accounts office visited the NBP for depositing cheques they found the branch closed.
Accounts officer at the DHQ hospital Abdul Hanan also said 130 cheques issued by the district accounts office had not been deposited in the bank.
However, Sajjad Hussain, the manager of the NBP branch, rejected the allegation and said his staff had left the branch after 8pm which could be verified through the CCTV footage of the bank.
He said the officials concerned were trying to blame the bank for the lapse of the amount in order to conceal their own negligence.

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