The National Highway Authority’s (NHA) audit report 3 weeks ago revealed that there is a difference of Rs. 2 billion between the recorded total amount of fines imposed on traffic violations and the total fines collected.
The difference has been corrected to Rs. 450 million after Chairman NHA, Shahid Ashraf Tarar, made his statement to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Communications this Tuesday.
‘Missed’ Rs. 1.58 billion in Their Previous Report
He explained to the Committee that the auditors did not account for the expenditures made on operation and maintenance (O&M) conducted by the NHA to improve the ‘fine collection mechanism’.
“If we take out the O&M charges worth Rs1.578 billion, the difference comes down to Rs450 million which is yet to be reconciled,” he said.
He added that the remaining balance of Rs. 450 million can also be sorted out if it is considered that the old fine collection mechanism offered loopholes to the drivers fined. He said:
The previous practice on Motorways was that a road user would be issued a card by a patrol officer over a violation and would submit the fine along with the toll at the end of their journey. Some drivers would say that they had lost the card and the toll collection staff would let them go
He said that this had been resolved after the new system came into effect, a system in which fines were collected on the spot. The chairman added that this was only a matter of reconciliation and nothing else. It is as if he forgot their own company policy (The NHMP Rules 2007) which states that fines must be reconciled monthly.
It is a lawful and ethical duty of the accountants present in a company to disclose such information to external auditors as early as possible. Even if this was an error it’s laughable coming from government institutes which are meant to set standards. Plus acting as if Rs. 450 million is some small amount also goes on to show the disregard for the matter from the Chairman.
Source: Express Tribune