ISLAMABAD: The government has directed ministries to stop unauthorised use of official vehicles by ministers, secretaries and departmental heads. A letter issued by the Cabinet Division last week directed the ministries to take immediate steps to stop unauthorised use of official vehicles, as recommended by the PAC.The letter said the ministers, secretaries and departmental heads could use one official vehicle each. The ministries were requested to submit surplus vehicles in the central car pool of the Cabinet Division by November 30. It said after the expiry of the deadline,if any ministry was found violating the directives, the principal account officer of the ministry concerned would be held responsible for the fuel and vehicle maintenance charges. Official sources said currently, the federal ministers were using at least three official vehicles, one for the minister, one for his staff and one used by the security guards. The federal secretaries were using one vehicle for their personal use, one for their wives and one fro their children.
The joint secretaries and deputy secretaries were also using at least two vehicles, one for personal use and one for the use of their families. The sources revealed that the ministries were not maintaining these vehicles. A majority of the misused vehicles were unlawfully given to the officials by allied departments.Officials of the Petroleum Ministry were given vehicles by the Oil and Gas Development Company, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, Sui Northern and Sui Southern gas companies. The attached departments of the Ministry of Industries, the Utility Stores Corporation, and the Pakistan Steel Mills were providing vehicles to officials for personal use.The sources said government officials had also appointed their relatives in allied departments’ projects as well as in organisations that were dependent on the ministries for various approvals. They said the government should order performance audit of the allied departments and projects of the ministries to reduce non-development expenditure – Pakistantoday