Published On:Thursday, 5 May 2016
Posted by Chaudhry

Senate body gives USC six months to improve its performance

Senate body gives USC six months to improve its performance

ISLAMABAD: A legislative body of the Senate on Wednesday gave six months time to Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USC) to improve their performance and stop corruption, otherwise they would recommend the government to windup as it has no purpose to continue.
Functional Committee on Less Developed Areas Chairman Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar issued this warning to the USC managing director. He said the department was involved in massive corruption and mismanagement, having no subsidy for the poor. As the department has already confronted annual loss, then what was the purpose of existence of such a big organisation? Kakar questioned.
Other members of the committee were of the view that goods available at USC were sub-standard despite the fact that these were purchased in bulk, which were available at lower rates.
The chairman said most USC networks could not exist in less developed areas as it gives no benefits to the poor people. However, Ministry of Industry and Production Secretary Hizar Hayat told the committee that time for improvement should be given to the corporation, as it is planning several changes to make it profitable. Additional Secretary Shafqat Ranjah told the committee that main idea behind the establishment of USC was price stabilisation in the market. USC can only run smoothly if inefficiency was removed and corruption was stopped, he added. He recommended that USC could purchase goods in large quantity at lower rates and sell below the market prices.
Earlier, the USC MD informed that before 2005, there was no subsidy on USC outlets and the corruption element was at minimum, however, when subsidy was introduced in 2005, corruption and mismanagement was also introduced. “If the government wants to give subsidy, it should be targeted like the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and not through USC outlets.”
Giving details about USC, the MD apprised the committee that there were embezzlement cases in Killa Saifullah, Loralai, Pashin and other parts of the country. He said that during the internal audit of USC Quetta region, embezzlement of fund through illegal credit by the accounts staff of USC Quetta to the concerned store incharge came to light.
However, the MD claimed that the current management had decided to wipe out corruption from the corporation and also improve the overall efficiency by introducing computerisation. Within a short period of time, he claimed, the department would be made efficient despite the fact that last year, the USC incurred a loss of Rs 1.5 billion. He also informed the committee that the government announced Rs 1.5 billion subsidies during the month of Ramadan and the USC was ready to oblige.
Currently, the MD said, USC has Rs 15 billion assets and Rs 9 billion inventory which means that the corporation could not demand more money from the government for the losses, as it would be covered with the increase in sale.
The committee was given detailed briefing about different attached department of USC like SMEDA, PASDEC, Eik Hunar Eik Nagar (AHAN), National Productivity Organisation (NPO), National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML), Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company (PGJDC), National Fertilizer Corporation (NFC), Furniture Pakistan Company (FPC) and many more. The committee was told that these organisations played an important role in development of less developed areas and they have already initiated different training programmes for women and youth.

Copyright @ 2014-2016 Pakistan2days