Thursday June 20, 2024

Austerity measures: Cars of standing committees heads’ to be withdrawn

By Mehtab Haider
February 28, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The monitoring committee for implementation of austerity measures is all set to recommend to the prime minister for withdrawal of official vehicles from the chairmen of parliamentary committees, including the Public Accounts Committee and standing committees.

The forum in its meeting also directed the Cabinet Division to issue notification for the austerity measures approved by the cabinet, as so far no notification was issued. It was also highlighted during the meeting by one federal minister that the Senate and National Assembly standing committees meeting should be convened at Zoom as substantial expenditure was being incurred on holding the meetings. After detailed deliberations, it was decided that the recommendations would be tabled before the prime minister for getting his nod.

The minister said that the expenditure incurred on different heads/chairmen of standing committees should also be withdrawn. An official statement issued by the Ministry of Finance stated that Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar chaired the first meeting of the monitoring committee to oversee the implementation of austerity measures at the Finance Division on Monday.

Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain, Minister for National Food Security & Research Tariq Bashir Cheema, Minister for Law & Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar, Advisor the PM on Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit- Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, federal secretaries and senior officers attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed the implementation of the cabinet decisions on austerity measures. The finance secretary gave a presentation. It was informed that ministries/ divisions are already working on these measures and instructions have been issued for immediate compliance and reporting of any exemption and violation of the decisions. The committee directed all principal accounting officers to implement 15 percent cut in their current budgets. It was decided that use of teleconferences must be encouraged for all meetings to save time and expenditure. The committee conveyed that decision to withdraw use of luxury vehicles by the cabinet members and government officials be implemented with no exemption in any case.

The finance minister, while highlighting the challenging economic situation in the country, stressed all the concerned to ensure and expedite the implementation of austerity measures with sincerity and devotion in their ranks without any exception.