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ISLAMABAD: The government has constituted National Austerity Committee on Friday to take austerity measures for ensuring rational utilisation of public money besides curtailing expenditure to reduce the fiscal deficit.

A notification to this effect issued by the Finance Division noted that in view of the financial challenges being faced by the country, to conserve resources and to take austerity measures for ensuring rational utilisation of public money besides curtailing expenditure to reduce the fiscal deficit, the prime minister has been pleased to constitute a National Austerity Committee with effect from January 13, 2023.

The composition of the Committee is as follows:(i) Nasir Mahmood Khosa (ex-civil servant) Convener;(ii) Minister of State for Finance Co-Convener;(iii) SAPM on Government Effectiveness Member;(iv) SAPM on Finance Member;(v) Adviser to PM on Establishment Member;(vi) Secretary, Cabinet Division Member;(vii) Secretary, Ministry of Finance Member;(viii) Secretary, Power Division Member;(ix) Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Works Member;(x) Chairman, CDA Member; (xi)Chief Secretaries (Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Balochistan) Member;(xii) Dr Kaiser Bengali, Economist Member;(xiii) Dr Farrukh Saleem, Economist/Analyst Member; (xiv)Dr M Zubair Khan, Economist/Consultant Member, and (xv) Muhammad Naveed Iftikhar, governance specialist Member.

The committee may co-opt any person from public/private sector, if deemed necessary, for the purpose of this task.

The TORS of the Committee are: (i)to reduce public expenditure and ensure fiscal discipline;(ii)to take measures to economize government operations;(iii)to review and rationalise size of the government to achieve optimal and smart organizational structures including review of SOEs and corporations having redundant or overlapping functions;(iv)to invite proposals from ministries/divisions regarding austerity measures including curtailment of expenditure;(v)any other issue that is relevant or incidental to the achievement of austerity in government operations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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