The Pakistan government has banned giving Toshakhana presents valued over $300 to elected officials, including the president, prime minister and cabinet members. The updated guidelines also restricted judges, as well as civil and military leaders from accepting gifts that cost more than $300.
A fresh set of guidelines has been introduced according to the latest “Toshakhana Procedure for the Acceptance and Disposal of Gifts, 2023”, which is dated March 8. The government released the guidelines alongside the Toshakhana records of 2002 onwards.
While mentioning the cap, the official memo stated that the recipient should collect the gifts valued up to $300 after payment of the retention price within thirty days of the receipt of any communication in this regard by the Cabinet Division.
It further mentioned that in case the person failed then, it would become the property of the Toshakhana and will be disposed of as per Toshakhana Rules.
The Toshakhana department was established in 1974 under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division. The main objective of the department is to keep gifts which are received by members of parliament, ministers, foreign secretaries, the president, and the prime minister.
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The official memo read: “Gift(s) valuing upto USD 300 shall be allowed to be retained by the recipient after due payments as per its assessed market value. The gift(s) exceeding this monetory (sic) limit shall straightaway become state/Toshakhana property to be deposited and disposed of according to Toshakhana Procedure.”
It also stated that “the government/public functionaries, except those in BPS 1 to BPS 4 are prohibited from receiving cash awards offered by the visiting foreign dignitaries.”
The memorandum mentioned that such gifts may be “politely refused” and in case, it becomes impossible to refuse without causing offence to the visiting dignitary, “the amount shall be immediately deposited in the government treasury and a copy of Treasury Challan shall be provided to the Toshakhana Incharge, Cabinet Division”.
The news development comes amid proceedings against ousted prime minister Imran Khan for “not sharing details” of Toshakhana gifts.
Two non-bailable arrest warrants were issued for Khan on Monday after he failed to appear in courts in cases linked to the Toshakhana reference and threats that had been issued to a female judge.
(With inputs from agencies)
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