Islamabad, Jan 21 (ANI): A hefty amount of Rs 281 million from the funds of district governments was spent on former president Pervez Musharraf's 32 visits to Pakistan's Punjab province during his last three years 2005-07 in office.
During this period, the then Punjab Chief Minister's visits cost the public exchequer Rs 36.78 million.
However, a sum of just Rs 1.277 million was spent on the trips of the then Prime Minister. Being a technocrat and least interested in politics, he was not keen to pay too many visits to the state.
These trips took place for different purposes, including the Basant festival, inauguration of roads and carriageways, public meetings, etc, The News reported.
The expenditure was incurred on hiring of tents, furniture, transportation, lighting, refreshments, etc. At times, funds were also separately released on these occasions by the provincial government.
A Punjab government official said in some cases, the local councils did not use the funds allocated for the VVIP visits for the given purposes.
For example, he said, the Punjab Finance Division released a sum of Rs 32million for the visit of Musharraf, scheduled for February 16, 2007, but the same was cancelled on February 13.
Nevertheless, the district coordination officer (DCO) showed an expenditure of Rs 13 million on entertainment, tentage, transportation and security without any justification.
Secondly, the finance division further released an amount of Rs 40million for the president's visit scheduled on March 15, 2007.
In a letter to all district Nazims and DCOs in July last, the present Punjab Government had issued its policy for incurrence of expenditures in connection with the visits or public meetings of VVIPs.
The letter said the expenditures on visits of the President, Prime Minister and Chief Minister were held to be a valid charge as per the Standing Operating Procedure regarding visits of VVIPs circulated by the government on July 8, 2004. (ANI)