Pakistan’s Imran Khan government has banned creation of new posts, purchase of all vehicles, rationalised utilities spending, provision of one newspaper and decided to keep other expenditures at the bare minimum under its austerity drive for the current fiscal year, said media reports.
According to media reports, the increasing budget deficit is a major concern for the Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government under the IMF programme. Its campaign to deal with the financial emergency failed to yield any positive results during the last financial year 2018-19, when the budget deficit escalated to highest ever absolute figures.
The government has already banned provision of refreshments such as tea or biscuits during official meetings, causing some consternation as official meetings often go on for hours creating problems for people with health problems.
However, ignoring the criticism, the Ministry of Finance on Friday issued an Office Memorandum (OM) announcing more austerity measures for financial year 2019-20 with immediate effect. Under the new order:
(i) There will be a complete ban on purchase of all types of vehicles (excluding motorcycles) both for current as well as development expenditure.
(ii) Creation of new posts will be banned except those required for development projects and approved by the competent authority.
(iii) Entitlement of periodical, magazines, newspapers etc of entitled officers will remain restricted to only one.
(iv) Principal Accounting Officers (PAOs) will ensure rationalised utility consumption i.e. electricity, gas, telephone, water etc and the expenditure on purchase of assets, repair & maintenance and other operational expenditure shall be kept at bare minimum level while remaining within the budgetary allocation for the financial year.
(v) Two sides of paper shall be used in all official communications. (IANS)