ISLAMABAD: Managing Director (MD) Utility Stores Corporation has revealed before the Functional Committee of Senate that utility stores had beard loss worth of Rs 1.40 billion in last calendar year.

Meeting of committee on Wednesday held at Parliament house under the chair of its chairman Senator Usman Kakar.

Briefing the committee, MD utility stores Gulzar Shah said that in Quetta, Qilla Saifullah, Pasheen and Loralaie districts of Balochistan corruption worth at least Rs 400 million recorded. Internal audit officials have pointed out this corruption and cases have been registered in FIA and NAB against corrupt officials.

He further said that over 13 thousand employees are working in more than five thousand utility stores. Corporation is in loss for many years till December 2015 as total sale of utility stores was only 25 billion. If sale in current calendar year rises to 70 billion then loss could be decreased, he added saying that current monthly sale of department is Rs three billion while the purchasing of the corporation is Rs six billion. He added that government is not providing any type of subsidy to department.

He revealed that the reason behind the corruption in department is government subsidy. Till 2005 utility stores corporation was profitable and government was not giving any subsidy to the department. Due subsidy provided by government on different items including sugar corruption introduced corruption in the department, he added.

 Gulzar Shah has further said that by purchasing low quality items of different companies department was given loss and customers believe was detached. Utility stores could be profitable if corruption is eliminated and computerised system is introduced, he added.

MD utility stores said that government has planned to provide rupees 1.50 billion of subsidy on edible items in the holy month of Ramazan.

Chairman committee Usman Kakar has said that the purpose to establish utility stores was to provide less expensive and good standard items to the poor but corporation is failed to achieve its purpose. He recommended to high officials of corporation to establish mobile utility stores in low-developed areas.