ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan received 58 gifts of more than Rs140 million from the world leaders during his three-and-a-half-year stint and retained all of them either by paying a negligible amount or even without any payment.
The most expensive among them were, according to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, sold in Dubai. Information obtained by The News suggests that Imran had to pay in order to retain 15 expensive gifts. He paid Rs38 million for the gifts valued at Rs140 million and other gifts worth Rs800,200 were retained without making any payment.
Among the most expensive was one set of gifts he had received after his inauguration as prime minister in August 2018. It included the Graff watch of Rs85 million that was received together with cufflinks of Rs5.67 million, a pen of Rs1.5 million and a ring of Rs8.75 million.
Their price assessment was made by the evaluation committee set up by him. All these gifts which had a total value of around Rs100 million were retained by Imran Khan in September 2018 by paying 20 percent (Rs20 million) of their estimated value.
They were subsequently sold in Dubai earning Rs155 million, alleged PM Shehbaz Sharif. It has to be determined who paid for their retention, whether Imran Khan paid any capital gains tax or not.
According to the rules, a gift received by a government functionary from a leader of another country is deposited with treasury. Those interested to retain the gift can do so by paying a certain amount of the value which was 20 percent at the time Imran Khan had retained the above-mentioned gifts. The rules were revised in December 2018 that required the payment of 50 percent to retain these gifts.
The ones which are not retained remain deposited with the treasury or can be auctioned and the money acquired through the sale is transferred to the public exchequer. Incidentally, Imran Khan had ordered filing references against former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Yousaf Raza Gillani on charges of getting luxury gifts and vehicles from the treasury.
As far as the other gifts retained by Imran Khan are concerned, a set of gifts containing a Rolex watch, a pair of cufflinks, one ring and one box containing necklace, bracelet, and a pair of earrings was valued at Rs23.5 million and it was retained through Rs11.5 million. By that time, the rules were revised and retention could be done through payment of 50 percent of the total value. The other gifts included a Rolex watch worth Rs3.8 million which he had retained in October 2018 by paying around Rs754,000. Another Rolex watch of Rs1.5 million was retained in return of Rs294,000. Another set of gifts included a couple of Rolex watches, iPhone and other items was worth Rs1.73 million, which was retained for Rs338,600.
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