Friday March 24, 2023

Ruet-e-Hilal Committee faces backlash for 'lavish' moonsighting dinner

Notice withdrawn after netizens criticise committee and interim government

March 10, 2023
A representational image with criticism from Twitter. — AFP/Twitter/File
A representational image with criticism from Twitter. — AFP/Twitter/File

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's (KP) Auqaf Department withdrew its tender notice of an extravagant dinner arrangement for the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee's meeting for the Ramadan moonsighting, following severe backlash.

A notification from KP Information Minister Mian Feroz Jamal Shah Kaka Khel read: “I am directed to refer to the subject noted above and to state that the minister has directed that the subject tender mentioned above is withdrawn immediately and further have asked for a detail report to be submitted within 12 hours.” 

Shah, who also holds the portfolio of religious affairs and Auqaf, directed his ministry to ensure that it is "very cautious of the fact that austerity measures should be taken in all respects of expenditures spent from the public exchequer".

"The Ruet-e-Hilal Committee [members] is our most honourable guests and are welcomed. The invitation should be extended only to the members of Ruet-e-Hilal Committee and not as has transpired by the tender," the notification added.

In conversation with Geo News, the minister said that despite around a dozen of Ruet-e-Hilal Committee members being present every year for the moonsighting, it was unusual that a tender was floated for 200 people.

The Auqaf Department had earlier in the day issued a tender for the dinner arrangement of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee's meeting for the Ramadan moonsighting.

The tender, which has mentioned several scrumptious food items under the VIP menu, had invited netizens' ire as the country battles with a severe economic crisis.

What was on the menu?

Food for VIPs 100 persons

Dumpukht with rice 02 Nos

Naranj rice with beef

Mix vegetable

Chicken tikka boti


Seekh kebab

Russian salad

Fresh salad


Mineral water

Cold drinks

Food for general public 100 persons

Chicken curry

Mix vegetable



Cold drinks

Reception tea

Black tea

One bite pastry

One bite patties

One bite sandwich


'On the verge of bankruptcy'

Soon after details of the menu started taking rounds on social media, netizens took to Twitter to express their outrage at the lavish affair and criticised the interim provincial government and the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee for attempting to spend money on food items amid the country's financial crunch.