LAHORE: There is a plan to buy a secondhand aeroplane for the high-flying Punjab chief minister, and sources say the search has already landed relevant officials their ‘cheap, inexpensive’ model that may help the government avoid any allegations of overspending and ostentatiousness.
The ‘blueprint’ of the deal is being readied these days. The idea is to purchase a 12-seater jet of a specific foreign company. The market price of a brand new plane of this foreign make is stated to be $30 million (approximately Rs3 billion).
The ‘direction’ is to buy a secondhand jet at around $20 million (Rs2 billion) and save the remaining amount.
There are other details that are being addressed. For example, the secondhand jet should not have been owned by a don, or a showbiz personality so as to avoid any ‘past bad links’.
Officials confide that an international tender would be invited for the plane. Most probably, the manufacturing company would be asked to look for an intending seller, and then supply the jet to the Punjab government.
The idea behind this ‘bypass’ is to avoid any allegations of buying the secondhand plane against kickbacks.
“The price of a new jet is normally known internationally. But that of a secondhand one is subject to haggling. The second choice nevertheless involves chances of inviting objections. That is why we intend to involve the manufacturing company,” an official shared.
“Yes, we will anyhow spend Rs2 billion on the chief minister’s plane,” he replied while agreeing that the spending on the facility was still huge.