Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's maiden visit to Washington last month cost $67,180, eight times less than what the exchequer spent on former premier Nawaz Sharif's US trip in 2013, according to a government statement.
The Pakistan government released the cost of Prime Minister Khan's three-day visit to the United States from on Thursday. Khan was accompanied by a 27-member delegation. Instead of opting for a chartered plane, they flew on a commercial Qatar Airways flight with a stop in Doha, The Express Tribune quoted the statement as saying. Around $ 8,408 was spent on hotels and $ 37,371 on the travel of the Prime Minister.
During the trip, Khan gave gifts worth $884 and spent $4,360 on tips; $8,097 was spent on food and refreshments. Khan stayed at the Pakistani Ambassador's official residence in Washington. In comparison, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spent USD 549,854 during his US visit in 2013, while Pakistan Peoples Party chief Asif Ali Zardari spent USD 752,682 during his trip in 2009, the government statement said.
Pakistan is facing a serious economic crisis with short supplies of foreign currency reserves and stagnating growth. The expenses for Khan's US visit had drawn public attention in view of the government committing to austerity measures.
Meanwhile, on July 31, the cash-strapped government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to roll back the prices of naan and roti across Pakistan, media reports said on Wednesday, amid the public discontent against rising prices of essential commodities. Pakistan is facing a serious economic crisis with short supplies of foreign currency reserves and stagnating growth. The International Monetary Fund this month approved a USD 6 billion loan over a period of three years for Pakistan to allow the country to return to sustainable growth and improve the living standards of the people.
As Pakistan has initiated steps to implement tough economic reforms, the prices of petrol, gas and other essential food items have increased, hitting the common man. The IMF forecasts Pakistan's economic growth will slow to 2.9 per cent this fiscal year from 5.2 per cent in 2018. In February, the State Bank of Pakistan, the country's central bank had only USD 8 billion bn left in foreign reserves.