Former prime minister Imran Khan spent as much as Rs2 billion under ‘emergency expenditures’ during his last days in the office to highlight the performance of his government, SAMAA TV’s Zulfiqar Mehto reported on Monday.
According to Mehto, Imran Khan decided to spend the ‘princely sum’ to highlight his government’s performance when he realized that he would not remain in the office soon after coalition partners of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced to part ways with him ahead of the no-confidence motion.
Budget documents submitted to the National Assembly show that Imran Khan approved a supplementary grant worth Rs2 billion for the information ministry.
The huge sum was granted for launching a comprehensive media campaign on government programs and projects.
Then-Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry was tasked to advertise the PTI government’s performance on electronic and digital media.
For this purpose, sources said that the information ministry prepared a list of television channels and social media platforms for disbursement of the amount.
The budget documents clearly say that the money was approved for the “launch of comprehensive media campaign on government Initiatives, programme and projects.”
Purchase of aircraft and subsidies
Imran Khan’s government also used supplementary grants to spend Rs338 million in the name of the Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen Authority.
The government used Rs800 million for the purchase of two VVIP Gulfstream aircraft, the documents show.
Another Rs330 million were drawn for the maintenance of two existing aircraft under supplementary grants.
The government issued Rs2.8 billion to three universities in Peshawar, Quetta and Tandojam while Rs45 million were given to the National Housing Authority, Islamabad.
The PTI government also overspent Rs5 billion in subsidies through the Utility Stores Corporation on five essential commodities.
Supplementary grants were also used for paying Rs1 billion under Insaf Imdad-Ehsas program and Rs1.5 billion for providing food subsidy in Azad Jammu Kashmir.
The government also drew on supplementary grants for the payment of court fee in a case involving Al-Tuwariqi and Al-Ittefaq Steel product company limited and the state of Pakistan. Al-Tuwariqi group sued the government in 2018 for $500 million.
Similarly, the government haphazardly paid Rs67.5 million to a solicitor in the United Kingdom. The money was spent through the ministry of interior.
Prime Minister House
The government failed to run the prime minister secretariat and the Prime Minister House within the allocated budget and spent an extra amount of Rs155.3 million on PM Secretariat and Rs106 million on the PM House.
Supplementary grants were used for the Supreme Court building (Rs223,931,000) and Supreme Court Judges Residences (Rs281,069,000).
For the Interest-free Loans Under PM Low-cost Housing Scheme the government spent an extra amount of Rs2 billion.
The government spent over and above than the budget allocations under the following heads:
For COVID-19 response (Rs9,393,226,000), Establishment of 400 bedded new DHQ Hospital, Hafizabad (Rs4,140,670,000), strengthening of DHQ Hospitals, KPK (Rs5,018,617,000), establishment of 200 bedded MCH, Bahawalnagar (Rs2,805,235,000), upgradation of 20 bedded RHC, Bahawalpur (Rs267,650,000), upgradation of DHQ Hospital, Minchin Abad (Rs 189,298,000), construction of THQ Hospital, Kasur (Rs212,546,000), THQ, Nowshera (Rs 127,729,000) and upgradation of THQ Hospital, Gujrat (Rs 134,660,000)
For dualization and improvement of Mandra to Chakwal road(Rs1,500,000,000),Sohawa to Chakwal Road (Rs1,000,000,000) and Misc. Roads and Schemes (Rs4,750,431,000).
For Improvement and Rehabilitation Programme of Balkasar-Mianwali (N-130) and Mianwali-Muzaffargarh (N-135) Roads. - Rs6 billion, transportation of Weapons, Ammunition and Equipment to Tajikistan (Rs124,950,000).
For provision of subsidy to LNG sector for Industrial use (Incl. Zero Rated Exp.) Rs21,335,631,000