Govt vehicles

Published January 25, 2023

IN desperate need for some austerity, we should consider the savings that could be made by withdrawing just one single perk; the official vehicles. Pakistan, one of the poorest countries of the world, has an amazingly high number of vehicles allocated to government officials. Apparently, the arrangement is meant for official use, but misuse of such vehicles for personal and family purposes is common and perfectly acceptable to all concerned.

Federal and provincial government officials continue to enjoy such perks at taxpayers’ expense.

In addition to the cost of the vehicles, the government also pays for fuel and maintenance. The package in most cases includes a driver as well.

What stops the government from withdrawing 90 per cent of all these vehicles? The remaining 10pc shall be kept in common pools to be used on a need basis, but never for pick-and-drop from home. In the developed world, even government ministers are not allocated cars for such purposes.

Conservatively assuming that each vehicle uses 200 litres of fuel each month, withdrawing all government vehicles would mean an immediate saving of 30 million litres of fuel every month. This translates to a fuel import saving of $22 million per month, or $264 million per year.

Why is the government not adopting this and numerous other similar cost-saving schemes? It is because the rich do not like to have their own obscene luxuries curtailed at all, and the ordinary citizens decide to keep their mouths shut watching all this. It is time for sane and patriotic people to speak up.

Naeem Sadiq
Karachi

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2023

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