Pakistan Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Wednesday revealed that the former premier Imran Khan’s helicopter commute from his Bani Gala home to the PM secretariat cost the national exchequer 550 million Pakistani rupees in three years and eight months, reported local media. Notably, the former prime minister used a helicopter to travel to his office almost every day when he was in power, and the said money was spent on the fuel consumed by the helicopter, reported Samaa TV. Shortly after coming to power, Khan had faced criticism for using a helicopter for his daily commute. However, the then information minister Fawad Chaudry had defended Khan by claiming that the commute merely cost PKR 55 per kilometer.
However, refuting Chaudhry’s claims, Ismail said he had the documentary evidence to back up his statement, reported the media outlet. The finance minister also said that the former Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has left a huge circular debt in the power sector and had created PKR 400 billion circular debt in the natural gas sector.
Meanwhile, the capping of oil prices, amounting to a subsidy of PKR 150 billion per month, by the Imran Khan government towards the end of its tenure has also become a major concern for the present government that sees it as a trap to sabotage the Shehbaz Sharif-led administration, reported The News International citing an official source. According to the source, the oil prices have become Hobson’s choice for the government as no budgeting could possibly be done with an over PKR 150 billion subsidy on oil alone, however, raising the oil prices as per international market rates will invite a strong public reaction.