The fuel cost for Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar’s helicopter trips is 272% more than that of Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan.
According to the data from June to November 2019 acquired by journalist Shehzad Yousafzai through right-to-information (RTI) request, Buzdar embarked on 68 trips worth Rs. 3.73 million. CM Punjab flew for 51 hours and 55 minutes between June and November last year, costing Rs. 72,000 per hour to the exchequer.
Moreover, CM Buzdar was accompanied by 235 people during the 68 visits which incurred a cost of Rs. 15,906 per passenger to the exchequer.
On the other hand, Mehmood Khan boarded 77 flights worth Rs. 1.40 million during the same period. CM KP flew for 72 hours and 50 minutes, incurring a cost of Rs. 19,264 per hour.
CM KP was accompanied by 192 people during 77 visits which incurred a cost of Rs. 7,314 per passenger to the exchequer.
Right to Information
In 2019, Shehzad Yousafzai had submitted the request to acquire data about the helicopter travels of CM Punjab and KP at Chief Minister Secretariat Lahore and KP’s Administration Department respectively under the provinces’ RTI laws.
Chief Minister Secretariat Lahore rejected Shehzad’s request initially, arguing that Section 13 of the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013 grants an exemption to CM Office. However, Shehzad lodged a complaint in Punjab Information Commission and was able to acquire the requested information from the CM Office.
KP’s Administration Department took more than 8 months to process Shehzad’s request. It must be noted that KP’s RTI law requires all requests to be processed within 14 days.
Shehzad had also requested the same data from Chief Minister Sindh’s Secretariat. However, the Secretariat has yet to respond to Shehzad’s request.