Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who spent a whopping Rs 638 million on his foreign trips has emerged as the competitor for his counterpart Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid 33 foreign trips till December 2015. His foreign trips have always attracted the Opposition's wrath.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the National Assembly yesterday that Sharif has spent a total of 185 days abroad in 65 foreign tours with accompanying staff of 631 officers.
Sharif came to power in June 2013 and has been regularly going abroad, despite growing criticism by opposition and media.
His trips have cost the national exchequer Rs 638.27 million. In stark contrast to his stay abroad during his tenure, Sharif visited the National Assembly just 35 times during his 940 days in power.
According to the data provided the National Assembly, Sharif visited Britain 17 times, spending about two months in the UK, of which 32 days were listed as official stay while 24 were listed as transits. However, during each transit, Sharif stopped for at least a couple of days which cost the exchequer Rs 137.8 million.
After the UK, Sharif spent most of his time in the US, visiting the country for 18 days. He also visited Saudi Arabia five times, followed by the US and China which he visited four times. Turkey was Sharif's another favoured destination which he visited at least once every year.
Pakistan has received a slew of loans from international lenders to improve its economic condition. The World Bank approved a USD 500 million loan to Pakistan for energy sector reform last year.
IMF also agreed to grant USD 502 million to the country under a bailout package arrangement. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank decided to give USD 2 billion to Pakistan for energy sector reforms under a medium-term programme.
The programme was part of USD 10 billion that the international lenders had agreed to provide over a period of three years.
(With agency inputs)