Amid burning issues of flood, unemployment, poverty, inflation and many more, a huge amount of Rs 1.33 billion has been approved to purchase 133 VIP protocol and luxury vehicles for Punjab government functionaries and officers. A meeting was held under chairmanship of Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. The Punjab government approved the purchase of 133 new expensive vehicles worth Rs 1.33 billion. Government will be purchasing 44 Toyota Fortuner, 33 Toyota Corolla Grande, 12 Toyota Corolla and 44 Hilux Vigo. According to official documents of Punjab government, the vehicles will be used for the protocol of Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi and Chief Minister’s Office and government officials. Toyota Fortuner vehicles will be used for executive as well as protocol duties for which a huge amount of supplementary grant approval has been released. The surprising thing is that the case of all the VIP Protocol vehicle purchasing had to go to the austerity committee, however the government exempted the case of purchase of these vehicles from the austerity committee. According to reports, prior to the approval of the amount for purchase of vehicles, release of funds was also ordered. The Finance Department of Punjab had suggested to buy vehicles in the next financial year over shortage of funds. The CM Office opposed the objection of the Finance Department and asked to revise the summary. Later, the summary was brought back into the meeting and the Punjab Cabinet Committee on Finance approved the purchase of the vehicles. During the previous regime of Usman Buzdar also, the issue of vehicles came up and despite the refusal of funds, new vehicles were purchased. Moreover, he had even formed a committee headed by Raja Basharat who first arranged an official bullet-proof Land Cruiser for himself and later kept two separate vehicles for staff and protocol. Furthermore, countless vehicles were also distributed to the provincial ministers of their choice. Similarly, every secretary of Punjab government has at least three vehicles, one for their personal use, one for their family and the third one for protocol. In case of travelling to a different district, numerous officers have even kept up to five vehicles for their use and travel. According to official documents, Fortuner vehicles worth 1.16 million will also be given to deputy commissioners, while they already have the best vehicles in excellent conditions. The deputy commissioner of each district is already using two to three government funded vehicles. Provincial Minister raja Basharat said that there was a dire need for these vehicles. He added that these vehicles will also be used in flood-affected areas. Regarding the purchase of the Chief Minister Office vehicles, officials say that how will a secretary go to flood-affected areas in old vehicles? Additionally, new vehicles are being bought so that the administrative matters can be run in a better way. These cars are not being bought for protocol but to run administrative matters. Having a look at the purchase of new vehicles for government officials the money is being released through supplementary grants. Keeping in view the floods in Pakistan, this amount of 1.33 billion could have been used to help the flood victims. Even if one and a half or two lac per person is donated to rebuild their houses destroyed by floods, almost one lac families could have benefitted. Similarly, if tents were to be given to the flood affectees for this amount of money, many lac people could have been accommodated. The money could also have been invested in education sector. An estimate of five lac children could have been getting quality education in schools where rooms, washrooms, clean water is available. If only this amount was used for supplying clean water, a huge problem of Punjab could have been resolved to a greater extent. Clean water could have been provided to more than one million people. If used for health, up to 25 lac people could have been provided medicines.