AJK Govt committed to promoting accountability, transparency: Masood Khan

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Islamabad:    (Parliament Times)    Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu & Kashmir, has said that Azad Jammu & Kashmir has entered into a new era of development and prosperity. He said that in the years to come further investment in public and private sector will be enhanced. Resources available to the AJK Government, he said, are a public trust and the government would spend them with full responsibility and transparency. President Masood went on to say that Government of AJK is strengthening and consolidating its education, health, agriculture, energy and infrastructure sectors with a special focus to improve tourism in the State. President AJK appreciated the performance of AJK Audit Department and congratulated Mr. Hassan Rana (Auditor General) on his brilliant performance and delivery. President Masood was expressing his views while meeting with Auditor General Mr. Hassan and his team who called on the President at Jammu & Kashmir House to submit Audit Report for Fiscal Year 2018-19 along with two other reports including the Appropriation Accounts Financial Report 2018-19 and Financial Statement 2018-19.

The Auditor General briefed the President that the Government of AJK has collected 5.63% more revenues then the set target for the FY 2018-19. He also submitted valuable proposals to the Honourable President to further enhance State revenues. These proposals included payment of General Sales Tax to AJK Government as per schedule rates over Mangla Dam Electricity Generation by the Water and Power Development Authority Government of Pakistan. DG Audit further suggested that there was high potential in the tourism sector in AJK and by strengthening this sector, AJK revenues would be enhanced.

Mr. Hassan apprised the President that most of Audit offices in Azad Jammu & Kashmir are functioning out of rented buildings and there is dire need for setting up audit offices in government owned buildings. This, he said, would save revenues that could be spent on public welfare at large. Mr. Rana further briefed the President that his office has given guidelines to different semi-government organizations like Cadet Colleges, Teachers Foundation Azad Kashmir and Development Authorities to maintain their accounts with professionalism and transparency. He also shared with President the issues regarding difficulties relating to auditing of Power companies like Dana Hydal Project and Behtar Hydro Electro Project. In the end, President Masood appreciated the commendable work done by Mr. Hassan Rana and his team who prepared the reports very diligently and efficiently.