Lahore - The Punjab government retrieved at least 35 luxury vehicles and about 45 costly cars and parked them in the provincial pool, The Nation has learnt.
The officers had been using them without entitlement. The caretaker government has refused to give these vehicles to other officers who claim they needed them for field use.
The officers serving in the Public sector companies, authorities, corporations and projects had been using such luxury vehicles.
It is to be recalled that some of the bullet-proof vehicles are in the custody of judicial officers.
Official sources told that there were at least 50 luxury vehicles like land cruisers and bulletproof vans in the companies, projects, authorities and other independent bodies. Moreover, there are hundreds of other cars these autonomous bodies purchased that cost billions of rupees to the exchequer.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has already directed federal and provincial governments to furnish the record of luxury vehicles given beyond their official entitlement. The CJP had issued such order while he directed the Punjab CS to give regular salaries to the officers appointed in companies or authorities rather than market-based big packages.
The Punjab government issued a notification slashing the money over and above the regular pays to the company and authority officers. It also directed all the administrative secretaries to submit details of the vehicles being used by officers of the projects under their administrative control.
Moreover, the Punjab government has already retrieved about 124 vehicles from the outgoing cabinet members, advisors etc. Reportedly, former cabinet ministers including Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, Counter-Terrorism Minister Ayub Gadhi and Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada had been using bulletproof vehicles. Some luxury jeeps have already been retrieved from the public sector companies on the apex court order.
Official sources said that the interim government had pondered handing over these luxury vehicles to those administrative secretaries like Irrigation, Agriculture, Communication and Works, Housing, Local government. The secretaries of these departments had to visit across the province while performing official duties. The Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, IGP and some others have already been using luxury or bulletproof vehicles.
Will these vehicles be given to the divisional commissioners as the government had already approved the purchase of new vehicles for them is not yet clear.
It is to be recalled the Punjab government had purchased 147 3,000cc four-wheel double-cabin vehicles for assistant commissioners (ACs) across the province that cost Rs 658.707 million to the kitty. Former Punjab Assembly opposition leader Mahmoodur Rasheed had criticized the Punjab government austerity claims. He had claimed that the government had purchased 700 luxury vehicles besides a brand new chopper worth billions of rupees.