The premier announced that ministers and advisors to the premier have “voluntarily” decided not to take salaries from the government in order to save millions from the national exchequer…reports Asian Lite News
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday unveiled a host of austerity measures to save Rs 200 billion – aimed to keep the country afloat as the nation buckles up to meet the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) conditions, media reports said.
Pakistan is desperate to unlock the next tranche worth $1.1 billion loan facility with the IMF but is struggling to meet tough conditions set by the global financier, Geo News reported.
The IMF is demanding that Pakistan boosts its pitifully low tax base, end exemptions for the export sector, and raise artificially low energy prices that are meant to help poor families.
The nation is in dire need of funds as it battles a wrenching economic crisis as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)-held foreign exchange reserves barely cover one month of imports, Geo News reported.
Addressing a press conference flanked by the senior leadership of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the premier announced that ministers and advisors to the premier have “voluntarily” decided not to take salaries from the government in order to save millions from the national exchequer.
Among the measures, all federal ministers, state ministers, advisers, and special assistants have decided to voluntarily not take their salaries. All ministers will pay their power, telephone, water, and gas bills through their own resources.
All luxury cars are being taken back from cabinet members and will be auctioned, when necessary, ministers will be provided one vehicle for security.
Government officials will travel in economy class and their assistants will not go with them on official tours. During foreign tours, cabinet members will not reside in five-star hotels.
All ministries, divisions, departments, subdepartments, and independent organisations’ current expenditures will see a cut of 15 per cent.
Zoom conferences will be prefered instead of visiting countries; to save power and gas, offices will open at 7:30 a.m. and less power consuming appliances will be used.
Government officials will not be allotted more than one plot, only one dish will be eaten at government meetings, tea and biscuit will be served at other meetings.
Prohibition of food will not be applicable to foreign dignitaries.
In addition, Centre, provinces will cut power supply of malls and markets if they don’t shut down by 8:30 p.m.