Although Senate Secretariat is facing a shortage of budget to clear pending dues of the senators, still a decision was taken to purchase two luxury Mercedes vehicles and one Toyota Fortuner Jeep for the protocol of Senate chairman.
Earlier, two Honda Accord vehicles and one Toyota Prado Jeep were in use for the chairman’s protocol, but, later, the Senate Secretariat had declared these vehicles unfit for use. Upon this, the chairman decided to purchase two luxury Mercedes vehicles and one Toyota for duty and protocol and got the necessary approval from a senate panel in this regard.
Official documents available with Pakistan Today disclose that in committee meeting under the chairmanship of Mian Raza Rabbani on December 22, 2016, the decision deeming the three vehicles unfit was reversed and their repair and maintenance were approved for the addition of the vehicles to the delegation pool after repairs and maintenance.
It is pertinent to mention that the decision to purchase these three vehicles will cost approximately Rs 12.647 million to the exchequer. And, the vehicles already declared unfit for the will be used for protocol duties with the foreign delegations/VIPs after their placement in the delegation pool after the approval from the Senate Finance Committee.
At present, the Senate Secretariat is facing a shortage of budget to clear pending dues of the senators during the ongoing financial year due to many reasons, mainly because of high expenditures of the senators incurred during their foreign trips and expenses of Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) Standing Committee. It had been decided to seek a supplementary grant from the finance division to meet expenditures during the current financial year (2016-17).
According to official details, the senators had spent over Rs44 million during their thirty foreign visits. Similarly, expenditures of over Rs 8 million surfaced on APA Standing Committee on Economic and Sustainable Development Affairs held in a five-star private hotel, Islamabad, from 26-27 July 2016.