Which minister cruises at taxpayers’ expense?

The govt may borrow money for daily expenses, but ministers enjoy free rides in luxurious land cruisers.


Shahbaz Rana October 20, 2010
Which minister cruises at taxpayers’ expense?

ISLAMABAD: While the government runs from pillar to post to borrow money for daily expenses, there is a unique federal ministry whose minister, state minister and even secretary, are enjoying a free ride on luxurious land cruisers.

Without naming the ministry, chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday read out a long list of luxurious vehicles that he said were illegally being used by a minister, a minister for state and a federal secretary. He said the information was based on credible sources but he first wanted to listen to the ministry’s secretary say it himself.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, two PAC members said it was the communications ministry and the federal minister was Arbab Alamgir Khan, the minister for state was Chaudhry Imtiaz Safdar Warriach and the secretary was Sharif Ahmad. The communications secretary will explain his position today (Wednesday) before the committee, they added.

The federal minister’s list of cars included a 2010, a 2009 and a 2006 model of Toyota Land Cruiser, two Honda Civic cars, three Toyota Corolla cars and a Suzuki Baleno. The minister for state is using two latest models of Toyota Land Cruiser and two Toyota Corolla cars. Two more Toyota Land Cruisers were being used by the secretary along with a Honda Civic and a Suzuki.

“A federal minister and a minister for state are only entitled to use one car, which should be of the 1,800CC category while a federal secretary is entitled to use a 1,300CC car,” said Cabinet Division Secretary Abdul Rauf Chaudhry, adding that Pac could act in case of misuse of vehicles.

“As politicians, we have gone to jails for misuse of public transport but bureaucrats are not taking their responsibilities seriously,” said Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. “We are not engaged in a witch-hunt. Misuse of perks and privileges is the base of corruption.” Director-General of Federal Audit Syed Gulzar Hussain said that so far, only 24 ministries had submitted details of the use of cars, but misuse had been going on in attached departments. “The National Education Foundation possesses 124 cars and its managing director is illegally using three cars,” he said. “The chairperson said that it was regrettable that even the National Accountability Bureau was misusing vehicles and it claimed to hold [others] accountable,” Hussain said.

“It is not just attached departments [that misuse vehicles]. Another high-risk area is vehicles bought against projects,” said Auditor-General of Pakistan Tanvir Ali Agha.  The Pac asked Agha to cross-check the lists provided by the respective ministries and if information was misleading, then secretaries would be held responsible and recoveries would be made from them.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2010.

COMMENTS (9)

Ali | 13 years ago | Reply Government should not be in the business of providing transport for it's politicians, ministers. The more perks you provide these individuals the more they abbuse the privelege. With our lax/non existing auditing process for government spending this facility will only be abused. Only certain departments such as police,army need governemnt vehicles and these should be clearly marked. Every one else should make do like the rest of us!
Farhad | 13 years ago | Reply One step closer to the required revolution to shake the status quo. I hope to God that is a step in the right direction.
VIEW MORE COMMENTS
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ