Punjab Information technology Board (PITB), the front runner of introducing IT revolution in Punjab has defaulted on more than Rs. 2 billion in debt to the provincial government, according to media reports.
Despite the directives of CM Punjab Shahbaz Shareef and demands by the Department of Treasury, PITB still hasn’t paid off its debt to the Punjab government.
The provincial government has provided Rs. 2.11 billion to PITB as debt from the year 2006-13. The Finance Department sent the summary to CM Punjab that the board can a lot the shops, food court and offices present in Arfa Kareem Software Technology Park to pay the government.
The summary was approved in 2013, following which the Punjab government sent an official letter to PITB. The board claimed that they will settle their debt after the clearance of their accounts but still hasn’t followed through.
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In 2014, the provincial government drafted an Audit paras against PITB but all in vain. The Finance Department has sent more than seven letters to the institution from 2014-16 but neither have they received any payment or an official answer from the board.
This news is very shocking especially because Punjab IT Board fervently carries out various progressive activities including digitizing the government’s institutions etc. We have contacted the IT Board and have yet to receive an official statement from their spokesperson.
PITB’s Official Stance
As received from the official spokesperson of the PITB later in the evening
Referring to a news report in a section of the media regarding the status of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) as loan default of the Punjab government, a spokesman of the PITB has termed the report as misleading and clarified that an amount of Rupees two billion was given in 2004 by the then provincial government for the construction of Arfa Software Technology Park on the land of the Cooperatives department of Punjab, which was converted into loan in 2007.
The Cooperatives Department would be given the payment first while as per set procedure of the government, the loan would be regularized through book adjustment by converting it into grant, the spokesman concluded.