Govt to form bodies to evaluate threat to VIPs

Move aimed at cutting down ‘excessive spending’ on security protocols


Our Correspondent July 28, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The federal cabinet on Tuesday decided to form “threat committees” in provinces and regions where the PTI was in power to cut down on “excessive spending” on security protocols of cabinet members, serving and retired bureaucrats, judges, ex-high ups and politicians.

Addressing a post-cabinet news conference, Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Prime Minister Imran Khan was of the view that the public should be taken into confidence about where their tax money was being spent.

Highlighting that the least security and protocol expenses were incurred by the federal cabinet while the most was being spent on the judiciary, the minister maintained that the attorney general and the law minister would speak to the judges on the matter.

“The security of judges is also paramount to the government,” he added.

The minister said the committees would individually examine the threat level and security would be arranged accordingly.

“The move will help the government save millions of rupees every year.”

The prime minister has directed to formulate a new security mechanism in view of such an increase in the security expenditure of the VIPs.

A total 762 policemen of the capital’s police were deployed for the security of the president, the prime minister, ministers, advisers and special assistants, he said, adding that 14 Rangers and FC personnel were also on duty for the purpose and the total cost was Rs700 million.

At a cost of Rs287 million, he said, 377 policemen were deployed for the security of judges in the capital.

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In Lahore, he maintained, a sum of Rs1.13 billion was being spent on the security of judges.

Cumulatively, he said, around Rs1.40 billion were being spent and if other provinces were added in it then the total amount may exceed over Rs1.70 billion.

On Covid-19, Fawad said the cabinet had decided that state-owned enterprises should start vaccinating their employees as the economic cost of the lockdown was huge.

Emphasising that the vaccination target should be achieved at the earliest, the minister said the government would make vaccination mandatory in ministries at the next stage.

The cabinet was informed that so far 650,000 vaccine jabs a day were being administered and the plan was to achieve the target of one million doses per day.

The government, the minister said, had set a target to achieve 40% of the population vaccinated by the end of July.

However, he added, it was behind the target.

It had planned to have 70% of the population vaccinated by the end of the year.

Fawad warned that the government might opt for blocking the cell phone SIMs of people, who had not inoculated themselves.

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