Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) public officials have reportedly paid the highest annual amount for gifts from the Toshakhana over the past ten years, depositing over 34 million rupees into the government treasury to keep the subsidised gifts.
An investigation by The News found that in the fiscal year 2018-2019, the PTI government retained more gifts than any other government in the past ten years, according to official data from the Cabinet Secretariat.
Since 2011, the sums of money deposited against the Toshakhana have ranged from Rs.1.9 million in 2013-2014 to Rs. 3.7 million in 2017-2018. The PTI’s government’s deposited amount in 2018-19 is greater than the amounts paid in the recorded past 10 years combined, and approximately 10 times more than the average amount. The only government to not deposit any money for gift retention in the past decade was the 2015-2016 Pakistan-Muslim League-N (PMLN) government.
In the Toshakhana (treasure-house) procedure, gifts valued above Rs.30,000 made to government officials may be retained by the official for a reduced amount of 50 per cent of the gift’s value above the Rs.30,000 price floor. There are exemptions for antiques and historic gifts.
The Pakistan Information Commission had reportedly delved into the records after an application was filed by a citizen. In response, the PTI government appeared before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to argue that gifts received by the prime minister were classified.