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June 12, 2019

Rs410m approved for maintenance of 2 VVIP aircraft

National

June 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Federal government approved a supplementary grant of Rs410 million for the repair and maintenance of two VVIP Gulfstream aircrafts. Although budget documents don’t mention the dignitary in use of these luxury planes, officials privy to details said they are in use of Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr. Arif Alvi.

The supplementary grant was sanctioned in March this year by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and has now been reflected in the budget document for its formal approval from the Parliament. Defence Production Division is responsible for the maintenance of these aircrafts.

While the ECC okayed grant in its March meeting, it failed to resolve differences between Ministry of Defence Production and Pakistan Air Force regarding transfer of funds, an English daily reported last month. According to the ECC meeting’s minutes, Directorate General Defence Procurement had purchased two VVIP Gulfstream aircrafts (one brand new and one used) at a whopping cost of $58, 550,924 ($58.55 million) in September 2005 on the directions of Ministries of Finance and Defence. Payment of their repair and maintenance used to be made through the Ministry of Defence Production in favour of air headquarters.

Ministry of Defence Production proposed that an amount of Rs410 million ($2.9 million) for payment relating to repair and maintenance of VVIP Gulfstream aircrafts may be provided through supplementary grant for onward transfer to the air headquarters. It was, however, pointed out that allocation for this purpose is presently made out of grant number 27 of Ministry of Defence Production (sub-head A09-A09503-other) which may be allocated directly to Ministry of Defence which is the controlling Ministry of air headquarters as this Ministry has no record/details of maintenance needs/ToR of usage of these aircraft, reported an English daily.

Thus in keeping with the principles of financial discipline allocation and in view of the fact that both aircraft are presently on maintenance in the air headquarters, it would be in the fitness of things to streamline allocation mechanism once and for all by making it directly between the Finance Division, Ministry of Defence and the air headquarters with effect from July 1, 2019.

The meeting was apprised that Finance Division agreed to allocate Rs410 million ($2.9 million) for payment relating to repair and maintenance of VVIP Gulfstream aircrafts through supplementary grant under demand number 27 for onward transfer to Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The issue relating to transfer of allocation of funds for this purpose from Ministry of Defence Production to Ministry of Defence/PAF may be settled between these two ministries.

After discussion, the ECC approved the summary of Ministry of Defence Production regarding supplementary grant of Rs410 million ($2.9 million) for payment relating to repair and maintenance of VVIP Gulfstream aircrafts through supplementary grant under demand number 27 for onward transfer to air headquarters. The ECC further decided that the issue relating to transfer of allocation of funds for repair of two VVIP aircraft from the Ministry of Defence Production to Ministry of Defence/PAF may be settled between these two ministries.

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