Govt reports on COVID-19 spending lack transparency: CJP

By: News Desk      Published: 04:11 PM, 20 Apr, 2020
Govt reports on COVID-19 spending lack transparency: CJP

Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Monday blasted governmental response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Hearing a suo moto case on federal and provincial governments' response to the Covid-19, the five-member Supreme Court bench examined the federal government report submitted on measures taken to combat the deadly respiratory virus.

The chief justice said there was no transparency in any of the steps taken by all governments (federal and provincial) to stem the virus.

Heading the bench, Justice Gulzar said the reports submitted by federal and provincial departments lacked transparency.

He also asked the attorney generals of the centre and province that how the money given by the public and other countries was being spent, as billions of rupees have been spent while there were only 5,000 virus patients.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial said as the federal government has distributed Rs9 billion to provinces it should monitor the disbursement of funds as it would not undermine the provincial autonomy.

The chief justice grilled federal and provincial governments about the quarantine facilities over reports that people at those centres were being charged.

"Instead of making new quarantine centres, why aren't schools and colleges being used for quarantine purpose?" he asked.

The CJP said Pakistan Baitul Maal did not submit a reply in court while Zakat money was being used for air travel, TADA and for paying officials' salaries.

The court sought advice from the Council of Islamic ideology on this matter.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.