ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and upcoming prime minister Imran Khan’s decision to live in a smaller residence and not in the official PM House will save an amount of Pakistani Rs1.85 billion spent annually on the palatial facility.
Imran’s measures under the austerity drive will also send a positive message to the masses that their prime minister was not splashing public money on a luxurious life when they were struggling to make ends meet.
Imran Khan, in his victory speech, had clarified that he would ‘feel ashamed to live in the PM House’ and in a number of interviews and press conferences, the cricketer-turned-politician had decried the VVIP protocol.
The cricketer-turned-politician has also vowed to ensure that his ministers and provincial chief ministers would also live a simple life.
Pakistan’s PM House was inaugurated by the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif when he was elected for a second term; its located on the main Constitution Avenue with an area spanning over 135 acres lined with five spacious lawns, a fruit orchard, a number of swimming pools, a banquet hall, media and committee rooms.
There are also 10 servants quarters, residences for security officers, staff and members of the Public & Works Department and police.
Inside the PM House, around 50 protocol officers work in their offices. Its security budget is around Rs980 million, while Rs700 million are allocated for PM House staff.
Similarly, Rs150 million is spent annually on gifts for visiting dignitaries and guests, and Rs15 million on renovation and decoration, Gulf News reported.
Capitalizing on the populist wave, Khan has indicated that he will utilise the PM House land for publicly beneficial purposes, such as education or health for which his party would make a decision in next few weeks.
The PTI leader had disclosed the administration of the capital city that he wanted a small flat in the minister’s enclave, however, he agreed to occupy a house when told about the security protocols.
According to latest media reports, he has now agreed to reside in the Speaker’s House.