Lahore - Punjab Chief Minister’s Office on Saturday released comparative data of the expenditures spent during the current and previous governments for the renovation and maintenance of CM’s residence at 7-Club Road and his office on 8-Club Road.

According to a spokesman, the building of 7-Club Road was decades old and after former chief ministers Manzoor Wattoo and Sardar Asif Nakai, the building had not been used as CM’s residence.  It was declared as an office in the first tenure of Shehbaz Sharif and remained neglected with very few staff in the tenure of former President Pervez Musharraf. Former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif used 7- Club Road just to run his office. 

The spokesman said that Usman Buzdar after holding the portfolio of Punjab Chief Minister started using 7-Club Road as his residence. The 7- Club Road building was in a dilapidated condition due to the negligence spanning over many decades, therefore, renovation and maintenance of this building was utmost necessary to make a living place.

During the last fiscal year 2018-19, the Communication and Works Department spent Rs 23 million on the repair and maintenance of 7-Club Road whereas only Rs 5.4 million were spent in the first six months of the current fiscal year for the purpose. The C&W Department spent Rs.23 million in the fiscal year 2016-17 and Rs.28.5 million in the fiscal year 2017-18 in the same head when CM was not residing there.

The spokesman said that 7-Club Road was the only residence of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, which has office and meeting rooms. Despite that, Usman Buzdar was residing in 7-Club Road, the expenditures made on this building were much less than the amount spent in the previous governments which reflected the austerity policy of PTI government. Following the austerity policy, only poshish of the furniture was made instead of purchasing new furniture.

The spokesman also negated the purchase of luxurious furniture for the building. He maintained that Rs.53.8 million were spent in the year 2018-19 and Rs.20.4 million in the first six months of current fiscal year in the heads of entertainment or gifts. Whereas, Rs. 86 million were spent from the national exchequer in 2016-17 and Rs.89.9 million in 2017-18 in the same heads.

He clarified that the Chief Minister’s Annexe was being used from 2004 as a VVIPs guesthouse and following the tradition, the same was used for the residence of prime minister, advisors, and federal ministers.

Only Rs 900,000 were spent in the last fiscal year in the head of crockery and in the first six months of current year Rs 100,000 were spent under the head. Whereas, Rs 900,000 were spent in the year 2016-17 and Rs 1.1 million were spent for the purchase of crockery in the year 2017-18. The funds utilised for all necessary expenditures were much lesser than the funds utilized during the previous tenures, the spokesman added.