ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Commerce illegally released an amount of Rs. 742,000 (6,000 pounds) from Export Marketing Development Fund (EMDF) in favour of Commercial Secretary, Manchester, for his membership fee of a golf club in Manchester, an audit report revealed. The amount was released on the request of Commercial Secretary Manchester Mohammad Ahmed Ali to pay his membership fee of a golf club, an audit report on the accounts of Federal Government (Civil) year 2008-2009 said. The purpose of transaction was stated to be strengthening network with business circles in Manchester. The amount was sanctioned by the TDAP vide letter No.TDAP-17 (23)/2007-EMDF dated February 9, 2008. The report said that EMDF was not liable for the payment of membership fee of a diplomat, as it would encourage other diplomats/trade officers to lobby for similar concessions with the Ministry, thus diluting the effectiveness of EMDF. Moreover, it was observed that the fee of Golf Club was 2,000 pounds per year but 6,000 pound were transferred into the account of Golf Club, Manchester, for the membership fee of Pakistans Commercial Secretary. According to the report, management was of the view that membership of golf club was essential for building network with all established businessmen and stakeholders. However, auditors said the reply was not tenable, as diplomats were paid entertainment funds for lobbying purposes. Payment of 6,000 pounds for Golf Club membership was unjustified. The DAC in its meeting held on May 28, 2009 agreed that the amount paid was not a valid charge on EMDF and may be recovered from the concerned.