While the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is warning against the plummeting foreign exchange reserves and burgeoning fiscal deficit, the SBP Governor, Anwar Yasin, who is also a dual national, has ordered for himself a Rs40 million imported bullet proof vehicle.
Citing security concerns, order has been placed for a Lexus, SUV model, and it is expected to reach Pakistan in a month or so.
The Governor was part of a delegation that recently went to Washington to negotiate $7.5 billion bailout package with IMF as well as with the US treasury secretary for reconciliation of Coalition Support Fund accounts for fresh inflows. Anwar is Pakistani-American and the fourth Governor appointed in the five-year tenure of PPP government.
A spokesman of SBP confirmed the purchase of a bulletproof vehicle saying that proper approval from “competent authorities” has been obtained and there is no irregularity involved. But he chose not to disclose who the competent authority is.
The News has learnt that the SBP Governor Anwar Yasin initially took up the matter with Salim Mandviwala, then finance minister, requesting the release of funds for the purchase of bullet proof vehicles who asked him to put up a written application for formal approval.
The Governor also wanted approval of his unauthorized travels abroad that he conducted without getting No Objection Certification (NoC) from the government. For that matter also, he had to request in writing.
the Governor’s meeting details to The News but said the
latter did not show up as long as he was finance minister. Being an autonomous
body, he said, SBP can secure approval for such purchases from its own Board of
“However, such proposals are generally routed through finance ministry to avoid
public criticism,” Mandviwala said.
He also confirmed that SBP Governor has frequently travelled abroad without securing NoC from the federal government that is otherwise mandatory.
As the issue was taken up with SBP spokesman, he said there was no irregularity involved on both counts —- purchasing the bullet proof car and travelling abroad.
He said all decisions have been taken by the competent authorities. But he was reluctant to name these competent authorities. Asked to explain who the competent authorities are, he said they are the ones who are “authorized to grant approvals/NoC under the relevant laws/rules.”
When pressed again to name them, he said “we feel that it will be appropriate to keep it general.”
As for the price of the bulletproof vehicle is concerned, the spokesman said he was not aware of the exact price but insisted that all formalities must have been fulfilled and market value checked before placing the order.
As The News approached a company in Karachi for getting the idea of price of a
bulletproof vehicle, he said
an armed bullet proof Pajero would cost around Rs30 million