LAHORE: Punjab government is showing reluctance in releasing Rs2.3 million for the maintenance and repair of two bulletproof vehicles deployed at the Governor’s House.
A senior government official, on condition of anonymity, said that the provincial government lacked the funds required to process the request. The vehicles - a Land Cruiser and a Mercedes –are part of the Governor’s Secretariat transport pool and have been reserved to be used by the president of Pakistan and foreign presidents during their stay in the province.
The Mercedes is reportedly 16 years old while the Land Cruiser was purchased in 2005 by the then chief minister Pervaiz Elahi and has been at the disposal of the Governor’s Secretariat since October 2008. A senior concerned official requesting anonymity said that both vehicles required necessary mechanical and electrical repairs, maintenance and replacement of some parts. He added that the request was sent to the finance department on April 20 but it had not responded despite the lapse of more than three weeks.
Another official said that the case would be presented before the austerity committee which was scheduled to meet after May 15. He said that if the committee approves the case it would be forwarded to the finance department for the provisioning of funds as a supplementary grant.
It is noteworthy to mention that the government released Rs3.9 million in April as supplementary grant for the repair and maintenance of a bulletproof Mercedes Benz S600L deployed with Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary. The funds were released on the directions of the chief minister’s secretariat.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 13th, 2010.