The federal government has implemented a new policy for retaining gifts from Toshakhana, the state depository where gifts received by government officials from foreign countries and dignitaries are kept.
The development comes as the government, in a historic move, releases the record of Toshakhana gifts since 2002, which revealed how the former rulers and bureaucrats retained high-priced gifts for peanuts.
However, the buying of gifts at a lower price was not illegal, as there was a law allowing them to pay a certain percentage after assessing the value of the items.
The current coalition government has now enforced a new policy titled “Toshakhana procedure for the acceptance and disposal of gifts, 2023,” with immediate effect. In February of this year, the Shehbaz Sharif government adopted the policy.
The policy prohibits judges, civil and military authorities, cabinet members, presidents, and prime ministers from purchasing presents that cost more than $300. Gifts that are less than $300 in market value can be kept.