Austerity Drive: Prime Minister Imran Khan saved Rs 100m on the US visit

By taking commercial flights, PM saved Rs 100 million of public money.

 

  • Fulfilling the promise of austerity, Prime Minister Imran Khan has saved Rs100m of public money of his US visit. 

  • Khan becomes the first Pakistani Prime Minister to travel via a commercial flight. 

  • Previously, it cost about Rs 112-126 million for a 28-hour round trip.

Fulfilling the promise of an effective austerity drive amid Pakistan’s financial crisis, Imran Khan has saved Rs 100m of public money on his US visit. He becomes the first Pakistani Prime Minister to travel via a commercial flight, contrary to the practices adopted by past premiers.

Before Imran Khan, mostly Boing 777, the long-range wide-body twin-engine 300-seater jet airliner was engaged for foreign trips. The costs surged up to Rs 4-4.5 million per hour. Note that Pakistan to the US flight roughly takes up 14 hours on one side.

“If we calculate, it becomes Rs112-126 million for a 28-hour round trip,” said an aviation official while speaking to a local media source. Explaining on, he added that the cost only includes travel and not the special arrangements made by the national carrier.

The official said that it disturbed the entire schedule as it has to be re-planned. Also, the seats had to be rearranged which cost extra. All seats had to be rearranged in a drawing-room style in accordance with the needs and demands.

”It used to be a nuisance; we had to adjust flights as the engagement of one aircraft means disturbance of entire schedule. Seats had to be disassembled for the arrangements and reassembled when the plane returned. PIA had to provide food according to their choices. It took three to four days,” the said source continued. 

A similar aircraft on standby:

Fuel rates have also gone up recently due to a surge in dollar rates. As the rupee depreciated by 32% in 2019 and jet fuel cost increased by 25%, hence impacting the travel cost (statistics by Statista).

Furthermore, another similar aircraft needed to be on standby, in case the previous one develops any technical fault.

“If one aircraft is to skip three flights during the visit, the total cost would multiply.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan, after taking charge, stressed most on an austerity drive. Through this, he wanted to bring down the expenses of government offices due to the country’s economic state.

Via: Express Tribune 

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