Almost 70,000 posts to be abolished in Centre to save public money

The committee has proposed a set of austerity measures that will be announced as part of the upcoming budget

By Ansar Abbasi
May 26, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. — APP File

ISLAMABAD: Nearly 70,000 posts in the centre will be abolished whereas around 80 federal government entities will be merged, restructured or shut down to save public money.

Informed sources said that a high-level committee, constituted by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to recommend austerity measures, has proposed a set of measures that will be announced as part of the upcoming budget.


Besides other measures, around 70,000 posts in BS 1-16, which have been lying vacant for the last few years, will be abolished. The budget will also contain recommendations for overhaul, merger or abolition of around 80 federal government entities.

The committee, which was set up recently, was assigned to look into the report of the austerity committee that was created during Shehbaz Sharif‘s last tenure as PM.

That committee had recommended a comprehensive set of austerity measures to save up to Rs1 trillion per year in the medium term but most of its recommendations were ignored.

The previous committee, which was headed by a reputed retired bureaucrat Nasir Mahmood Khosa, had 15 members. The prime minister during his present tenure constituted a seven-member committee to present a practical plan for reduction in government expenditures.

Most of the seven-member committee members were part of the austerity committee whose most recommendations were ignored earlier.

The new committee, headed by deputy chairman Planning includes secretary Finance, secretary Cabinet Division, secretary Industries and Production Rashid Mahmood Langrial, Kaiser Bengali, Dr Farrukh Saleem and Muhammad Naveed Iftikhar.

The present committee, the sources said, has done detailed working on the recommendations of the 2023 committee.

The 2023 committee had recommended comprehensive austerity measures, which as per the committee’s recommendations, if implemented, were to affect the savings of Rs200 billion in subsidies, Rs200 billion from development side, Rs55 billion from running of civil government, Rs60-70 billion via Single Treasury Account, Rs100 billion from conservation measures, Rs174 billion from divestment of non-strategic SOEs and saving from 15 percent cut of non-combat defence expenditure.

“The committee aims to effect savings of up to Rs1 trillion per year in the medium term,” read the report, which was presented to the prime minister, who implemented it only partially and ignored most of its recommendations.