ISLAMABAD - The PTI-led government has decided to recover billions of rupees public money misused during the past ten years by previous governments in the name of security and foreign tours.

This was stated by Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed at a press conference after the federal cabinet meeting here on Tuesday. He was flanked by Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan and Prime Minister's Advisor on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam.

The federal cabinet, which met with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, assigned Murad Saeed the task to brief every cabinet meeting about the foreign tours of the Sharif family and the expenditures incurred on them.

Murad Saeed on the occasion provided details of what he alleged the lavish lifestyle of PPP and PML-N leaders. He said former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani had five camp offices; three in Lahore and two in Multan, and spent Rs245 million on his security.

Zardari spent Rs3.16b

on his security

Former

PM Gilani

Rs245

million

Rs4.3b were spent on Jatiumra’s security

2,717 security men deployed to guard Sharifs

The minister added former president Asif Ali Zardari had incurred Rs3.16 billion on his security.

Elaborating further, Saeed said Zardari had two camp offices in Larkana and Naudero before he became the president. He said 246 vehicles were included in Zardari’s security squad while 656 police personnel were deputed for his security.

The minister further said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had spent $460,000 on his single visit to the US in 2015, adding Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the country would cost only $60,000.

He further said Nawaz’s treatment in the UK in 2016 had cost the national exchequer 327,000 pounds. He accused the former premier of using a special aircraft of PIA for the purpose.

The minister said total of Rs4.3 billion were spent on the security of Raiwind residence of Nawaz Sharif, which had been declared a camp office.

“Contrary to this, Imran Khan has spent money on the fencing of his Bani Gala residence from his own pocket,” Saeed added.

Saeed said former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif had also spent a hefty amount on his security.

The minister further informed media men that every member of Shehbaz Sharif’s family had a separate security squad, whereas the former CM had also bought a helicopter which cost the national kitty Rs1.3 billion.

He said total 2,717 security personnel had been deployed for the security of Sharif family.

Talking about austerity measures of the incumbent government, the minister said expenditures on the security of Punjab CM Usman Buzdar had been cut down by 85.6 percent. “Similarly, there has been 60 percent reduction in expenditures on his movement,” the minister revealed. He clarified that CM Buzdar had no camp office.

He said the money saved in this way would be spent on the welfare of people belonging to underprivileged segment of the society.

Speaking on the occasion, Firdous Ashiq Awan said the federal cabinet had decided to constitute a committee which would submit its recommendations on the verdict given by World Bank's Arbitration Court on Reko Diq case.

She said the committee was headed by Law Minister Farough Naseem, and would include Hammad Azhar, Dr Ishrat Hussain, Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Accountability Shahzad Akbar and Syed Qasim.

Firdous said the cabinet had also issued directives for appointing permanent heads of all the departments.

The special assistant to the prime minister said it had been decided that a mechanism would be devised to keep an eye on the prices of items of daily use like pulses and wheat flour.

She said it had been decided that the tax on the import of edible oil would be reduced from seven to two percent, which, she hoped, would break the back of hoarders.

She informed newsmen that the cabinet had also discussed the measures needed for improvement in the management of land record by the revenue department. She said that the matter would be taken up in the next cabinet meeting.

Firdous said Prime Minister Imran Khan was ready to listen to the problems of traders. However, at the same time, she added the PM was in no mood to compromise on bringing traders under the tax net.

Briefing about the important decisions taken by the federal cabinet regarding Clean and Green Pakistan, Prime Minister's Advisor on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that the cabinet had decided to ban the manufacturing, sale and purchase of polythene bags.

He said initially the ban would take effect in the federal capital from 14th of the next month. He further said fine ranging from Rs5,000 to Rs500,000 would be imposed on violators.

Aslam said that around 140 million saplings would be planted during the ongoing monsoon season.