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ISLAMABAD: The Finance Division on Thursday issued an office memorandum of austerity measures for the ongoing fiscal year, stating that in view of the prevailing situation these measures are being taken to curtail the fiscal deficit.

The OM stated that in view of the extraordinary financial constraints being faced by the country at present and to conserve resources, extraordinary measures are required to be taken for ensuring rational utilization of public money besides curtailing expenditure to reduce the fiscal deficit.

Accordingly, the federal government is pleased to enforce the following austerity measures for the financial year, 2022-23.

The measures included be complete ban on: (i) purchase of all types of vehicles from current and development budget except utility vehicles such as ambulances, busses for educational institutions, solid waste vehicles, etc.; (ii) creation of new posts except those required for development projects; (iii) treatment abroad at government expenses; (iv) appointment of contingent paid /daily wagers staff except for development projects; (v) purchase of office furniture except for development projects; (vi) purchase of machinery and equipment including air conditioners, microwave, fridge, photocopier, etc; (vii) official visits abroad by government functionaries where the GoP funding is involved except obligatory visits; (viii) official lunches/dinners/hi-tea except for foreign delegations; (ix) periodical, magazines, newspapers, etc (2) Principal Accounting Officers shall ensure that: (i) consumption of utilities be reduced by 10 per cent; (ii) existing entitlement for POL for government functionaries be reduced by 30 per cent; (iii) avoidable travel be curtailed by promoting use of Zoom/video links; (iv) vacant/redundant/non-productive posts be abolished.

In addition, the federal government has further decided that the POL usage of ministers’ vehicles, of cabinet members would be reduced by 60 percent and VVIP cavalcades expense would be reduced without compromising security.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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