ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has declared unlawful disbursement of Rs11.4 million by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to its former Chairman Zafar Hijazi during suspended period.
According to official documents, the AGF pointed out irregularity of disbursement in Rs7.73 million for final settlement of terminal benefits and Rs3.7 million for grant of annual increment and fixed bonus.
The audit observed that the SECP paid the amount of Rs7.73 million as terminal benefits to the suspended chairman as final settlement without acquittal of the charges and reinstating in service. “Criminal case against the chairman was in the court of law but the commission [the SECP] as per rules did not withheld,” it observed.
The AGP observed that payment of terminal benefits without acquittal and reinstatement of the employees was irregular and unauthorized.
The audit further stated that as per SECP Human Resource Manual 2015 an employee against whom disciplinary proceedings are pending will not be paid any annual increment, fixed and performance bonuses. However, if employees is cleared of the charges, he/she will be eligible for increment, fixed and performance bonuses as per rating on the retrospective basis.
The federal government placed former SECP Chairman Zafar-ul-Haq Hijazi under suspension on July 24, 2017.
Audit observed that the SECP paid an amount of Rs2.7 million as fixed bonus and Rs100,000 annual increment to the suspended chairman during the year 2016/2017.
The audit rejected the SECP reply on audit findings on the basis that SECP manual clearly mentioned that annual increment and fixed bonus could not be paid till the employee against whom disciplinary proceedings are pending.