Imran Khan's trip to PM house cost PKR 100 crore
The travel expenses of Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan from his personal residence to the PM house cost the exchequer PKR 98.4 crore. He reportedly traveled in a VVIP helicopter from 2018 to March 2022, before he was ousted from office. The amount is five times what was spent on building shelters for the homeless.
Why does this story matter?
- The claims reinforce allegations against Khan regarding abuse of public money. He was disqualified from holding public office after being charged with concealing income from selling state gifts.
- Lawmakers are allowed to buy gifts from the state repository, or Toshakhana, at a discounted price, and Pakistan's law doesn't bar leaders from selling them as well, but concealing transactions is illegal.
PKR 51 crore for maintenance of helicopter
Federal information and broadcasting minister Marriyum Aurangzeb released documents that show Khan's travel expenses amounted to PKR 47.36 crore while the helicopter's maintenance cost PKR 51.19 crore. Khan's travel expenses for August-December 2018 stood at PKR 3.7 crore, PKR 13.1 crore in 2019, PKR 14.35 crore in 2020, PKR 12.38 crore in 2021, and PKR 3.51 crore for January-March 2022.
PKR 18.3 crore spent on program for the poor
Documents further show that 39 Ehsas Panahgahs, or homeless shelters, were built across the country under the charitable organization Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal. The program aimed at providing healthcare, food, and safety to the homeless and ran 40 food vehicles to deliver food to the poor. Until March 2022, when the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief was in office, PKR 18.3 crore was spent on this program.
Khan raised Toshakhana discount rate from 20% to 50%
Pakistan's poll records show that Khan bought gifts worth PKR 10.8 crore from the Toshakhana for PKR 2.15 crore. Items priced above a certain bracket must go to the Toshakhana, but in some cases, the lawmakers who received them are allowed to buy them back at 50% of their value. After assuming office, Khan raised the discount rate from 20% to 50%.