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Sunday October 24, 2021

PMLN seeks details of Punjab CM’s Office expenditure

October 15, 2021
PMLN seeks details of Punjab CM’s Office expenditure

LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) has officially contacted the Punjab Information Commission to seek details of renovations, refurbishments and purchase of vehicles made during the last three years for the Chief Minister’s Office on the Club Road.

PMLN Punjab Secretary Information Azma Bukhari along with Atta Tarar wrote a letter to the Chief Minister’s Office, seeking details of renovations, refurbishments and vehicles in 2019 but so far they didn’t get any reply.

As per the letter written to the Punjab Information Commissioner dated October 4, 2021, Azma Bukhari said that under the Right to Information Act, every citizen has the right to get information from public bodies which are bound to provide the requested information within 14 working days. The prime objective of this law is to ensure transparency, public participation in governance and bridging the gap between public institutions and citizens.

She requested the Punjab Information Commission to give her details of multiple renovations and refurbishments which according to her sources have been undertaken at the Chief Minister’s House and the Chief Minister’s Office (7 & 8 Club Road GOR-l) during the last three years.

In the letter, Azma questioned the commissioner to check whether it is a fact that the Communications and Works Department (C&W) has shown it as an expenditure of the department instead of the Chief Minister's Office. She wrote that as per media and other reliable sources, a number of vehicles have been procured by the Services & General Administration Department (S&GAD), the Welfare Wing of the Secretariat and the Chief Minister’s Office during the last three years.

“We request information regarding all the tenders made for this purpose, total number of vehicles procured (details of their make, models and exact cost,” she said in the letter and added that there are reliable reports that recently Chief Minister Usman Buzdar constructed a house in Multan worth one billion rupees. She demanded that the Punjab Information Commission provide details of this house and the expenditures incurred on it and under which head this expenditure budgeted.

“It has come to our knowledge that several offices in GOR-1 have been declared camp offices and guest houses including the CM House annexe are being used by the Chief Minister’s Office,” she claimed in the letter and asked the Punjab Information Commission to provide details of all the camp offices and guest houses used by the Chief Minister’s Office. She also demanded that the commission provide the exact cost of renovation and refurbishments undertaken at the annexe during the last three years.

“In the recent past, the Election Commission of Pakistan has raised questions regarding the assets of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. In this context, it is requested that the exact details of all the assets held by Buzdar and his spouse since FY 2017 may please be provided,” she wrote. Talking to this scribe, Azma said she along with Attaullah Tarar requested similar information via a letter submitted on September 29, 2019 from the Chief Minister’s Office but in clear contravention with the law no reply has been furnished to date. She said if the commission fails to provide the required information, the PMLN will approach the court under the Right to Information Act.