Pakistan missions abroad spent Rs9.8 billion last year

Published: February 26, 2013

Officials linked the sudden increase in expenditures of foreign missions abroad with skyrocketing inflation across the globe. GRAPHIC: MANAHYL KHAN

ISLAMABAD: 

With rapid depreciation of the exchange rate and escalating living costs in world capitals, the government spent a whopping Rs9.8 billion on its foreign missions last year, registering an increase of 13% over the preceding year.

Official documents revealed that over the past six fiscal years, Pakistan’s 121 missions abroad registered a 72% increase in expenses, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs incurring cumulative expenditures worth Rs48.8 billion.

This substantial unexpected rise in expenditures worth billions of rupees, over the past six years, is being attributed to the decreasing value of the rupee against the dollar by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Talking to The Express Tribune, Foreign Office spokesperson Moazam Ali Khan linked the sudden increase in expenditures of foreign missions abroad with skyrocketing inflation across the globe. “This increase (in expenditure) is directly linked to the rupee value as it fell to all-time low against the greenback.”

Khan said that foreign missions abroad continued to keep expenditures to a minimum, justifying the sharp increase by recalling that a few years ago one US dollar was equivalent to approximately 62 Pakistani rupees.

According to details, the ministry of finance released Rs5.72 billion in 2007-08, Rs7.23 billion in 2008-09, Rs8.21 billion in 2009-10, Rs8.4 billion in 2010-11, Rs9.5 billion in 2011-12 and Rs9.8 billion for the current fiscal year to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet expenditures of its missions abroad. Surprisingly, Pakistan’s mission in Washington was reported to be the most expensive, as it spent Rs611 million 2009-10.

Pakistan’s mission in New Delhi was reported to be the most expensive in South Asia. Islamabad’s diplomatic office in New Delhi spent Rs192 million in the fiscal year 2007-08. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s mission in New York spent Rs138.2 million in the same fiscal year, which was Rs54 million less than New Delhi.

In fiscal year 2008-09, the New Delhi High Commission expenses jumped to a startling Rs271 million compared to the Pakistan High Commission in New York, which spent Rs124 million during the same year.

Meanwhile, the High Commission in London spent Rs251 million in 2008-09 and Rs310 million in 2009-10, while the mission in Geneva spent Rs203 million in 2008-09 and Rs258 million in 2009-10. Surprisingly, the most cost effective of Pakistan’s High Commissions abroad was reported to be the Montreal mission, which spent only Rs4.8 million in 2009-10, the lowest amount spent by any mission. Additionally, during that fiscal year, the High Commission in Istanbul spent Rs24 million, while the High Commission in Harare spent Rs25 million in 2009-10.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2013.

Reader Comments (12)

  • rizwan
    Feb 26, 2013 - 10:50AM

    Congratulation to all who vote for PPP/PMLN – if you have not learned a lesson yet please vote them again.

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  • Sonya
    Feb 26, 2013 - 10:52AM

    Had the writer consulted Service delivery budget (Green Book) available at Ministry of Finance’s website (http://www.finance.gov.pk/budget/FederalMedium-TermBudgetEstimates2012_15.pdf) it would have been a better reporting. More important for us to know is what the Ministry has achieved after spending this much. For example the outcomes this ministry is working for are 1) Develop friendly relations with all countries of the world and ensure access to recources for national development and prevent conflicts 2) Safeguard expatriates interests. The real challenge is to evaluate to what extent the Ministry has been able to achieve what they have promised?

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  • Weird
    Feb 26, 2013 - 12:01PM

    “the most cost effective of Pakistan’s High Commissions abroad was reported to be the Montreal mission” – not so surprising, the Montreal mission is a small operation out of a building adjacent to (or possibly part of) McGill University.

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  • Beware
    Feb 26, 2013 - 12:10PM

    @rizwan: why you include PMLN???? i did,t get it??

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  • adnan
    Feb 26, 2013 - 2:04PM

    Considering there are nearly 140 missions, the amount is not that bad. I believe that President House and PM House budget will be higher than that!!!

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  • roger
    Feb 26, 2013 - 2:13PM

    of course….. u c explosives in india are costly…. as compared to other places in south asia :p

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  • Adeel
    Feb 26, 2013 - 2:15PM

    @Sonya:
    i achieved a US visa refusal recently and I can’t go there to present my paper in an engineering conference…a part from that it was a lot of embarassement…this is what our foreign missions have succeeded so far…bringing embarassment to their people!

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  • Dhaka
    Feb 26, 2013 - 2:28PM

    Bangladesh mission abroad is more this amount.So we are more powerful than pakistan

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  • ahmad
    Feb 26, 2013 - 2:50PM

    @ rizwan: Why was PMLN included. They are not the government travelling. This is the federal budget on Foreign Ministry for PM and President and FM.

    Is it that you are a PTI guy, who just needs any forum to include the party, which uses commercial flights to travel abroad and the CM paid from his own pocket, with receipts published in May 2012?

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  • Naumann Malik
    Feb 26, 2013 - 3:41PM

    The foriegn missions are a shame. Even a country like Fiji gives on arrival visa to a populous nation like india, and for us, we have to apply for a visa. This current government has given us nothing but shame.

    I remember going to Singapore three times 1995, 96, & 97. I had visa on arrival. And today, I have to apply. Shame on this spending, it all goes in mujras late at night, after working hours.

    Dont believe me, come to Dubai, and I will show you around

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  • Welly
    Feb 26, 2013 - 4:19PM

    Tell me about it, here in the “Wellington Mission” their always travelling around NZ every weekend, organising parties and doing very little work. This increased expenditure is attributed to their desire of living lavishly.

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  • Siddique
    Feb 26, 2013 - 5:00PM

    My consulate in Bern, Switzerland, misbehave with Pakistanis and give impression of hate, they lie on all questions, and do non of their obligation towards overseas Pakistanis.

    They cannot issue MRP, expats. are suffering.

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