Shahbaz Sharif-led PDM alliance government has been under fire for spending an immense amount of money on advertisements for the Prime Minister’s visit to Turkey. An ad featuring the Pakistani PM & President Erdogan has been circulating on social media
Shehbaz Sharif has advertised his visit to Turkey in several print media outlets.
Referring to the statement of State Minister for Petroleum Musaddiq Malik, many mocked that the federal government “doesn’t even have money to buy poison” but has millions to spend on unnecessary advertisements.
Siddique Jan, a popular YouTuber, asks Maryam Aurangzeb, “If your government doesn’t have the money to purchase poison due to inefficiency and failure, where did the money to publish this ad come from?” This is what he claims happens when governments spend people’s tax money as if it’s illicit wealth.
Popular on social media, a journalist associated with Express, Anchor Imran Riaz Khan captions his tweet with “Until yesterday, they(sitting government) did not have money to eat poison.”
Tweeting an image about Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s 3-day official visit to Turkey, Asif Yusuf Chaudhry says, “(The government) does not have money only for poison”.
Ihtisham ul Haq posts the newspaper ad, saying that the large commercial damns another news title just over the ad on the country’s acute load-shedding owing to the prevailing “financial crisis.”
ARY News reporter Abdul Qadir asks if the Pakistani Prime Minister is visiting Turkey for the first time ever. Abdul Qadir adds that such publicity of official visit was not seen in the last 4 years(during Imran Khan-led PTI government), yesterday government ministers were saying that the treasury is empty, there is no money for poison, and today public money is being poured from the treasury on advertisements!
Shahbaz Sharif-led PMLN’s Habit Of Public Money’s Misuse
According to the information ministry, the federal government spent billions of rupees on ads in national publications between 2013 and 2017.
According to Fawad Chaudhry’s response to a query concerning the government’s media advertising asked in the Senate, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spent more than Rs. 10 billion on sponsoring advertisements during their 5-year-government from 2013 to 2018.
During this time span, the federal government’s ad expenditure increased by around 171 percent.
Advertising spending increased from Rs. 1.4 billion in 2013-14 to Rs. 3.8 billion in 2016-17.
According to the information given to the Senate, Jang newspaper, one of the most famous national Urdu newspapers, aired government advertising worth Rs. 1.4 billion from 2013 to 2017.
The value of these government advertisements in Jang equals the government’s first-year print advertising budget.
Dawn, the leading English daily, was ranked second.
Government commercials earned it more than Rs. 850 million. The Daily Express came in second with almost Rs. 760 million.
Similarly, the Punjab government led by Shahbaz Sharif spent millions during his stint as Chief Minister. On March 8, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to deposit Rs 5.5 million in the national exchequer for “extravagantly” spending taxpayer money on advertisements to promote the provincial government’s accomplishments.
When the provincial information secretary testified in court on behalf of the PML(N)-led Punjab government, he claimed that Rs 120 million was spent on ads in one month.
Observing that it amounts to Rs 1.5 billion each year, the Chief Justice of Pakistan questioned the government’s spending on advertisements and wondered whether the country was someone’s kingdom.
When a newspaper advertisement featuring the photograph of the Punjab chief minister was shown in court, Justice Saqib Nisar questioned the purpose and expense of the advertisement.
When the Punjab chief secretary informed the court that the goal of the advertising issue was to demonstrate the province government’s development activities and that Rs 5.5 million was spent on it, the judge ordered Sharif to repay the sum to the national exchequer.