Govt misusing taxpayers’ money on ads: traders

LAHORE: The business community has invited the attention of the Election Commission of Pakistan, seeking immediate ban on the huge advertisements by the federal as well as the provincial governments, misusing the taxpayers money.

The All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran has announced to move the apex court if the governments continued to abuse public money for massive advertisement campaigns, boasting the so-called welfare projects.

In a letter written to the prime minister and the four chief ministers, the APAT central general secretary Naeem Mir asked them to shun the practice of wasting billions of rupees on politically motivated publicity campaigns.

In a separate letter sent to the Election Commissioner, he urged him to take notice of an instance of prepoll rigging.

“What achievements the governments can boast of during the last five years that they are spending billions of rupees collected from taxpayers on the projection of their leaders” APAT general secretary questioned in the letter.

He said more than 58 per cent citizens are facing food insecurity while every four Pakistanis out of 10 are living below poverty line. Every new born baby is indebted with about Rs80,000. Security institutions have no proper equipments while bomb disposal staff has no safety jackets but government is misguiding the public through wrong commercials on money of taxpayers and no one is check them.

He said that almost all national institutions, including the PIA, Pakistan Railways and Pakistan Steel Mills, have been ruined. The government lacks funds to clear circular debt it owes to Independent Power Producers IPPs, while the Federal Board of Revenue is failing to meet the tax collection target and currency worth Rs4 billion is being daily printed to meet its every day financial obligations,” the communiqué says, referring to failures of government on various fronts to support its argument against publicity at the public’s cost.

Federal and provincial governments are getting political mileage for their respective parties, which is misuse of state money and tantamount to prepoll rigging.