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Govt cut 15% in current expenditures under Austerity Measures

ISLAMABAD (Eshfak Mughal) :-The Federal Government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has 15 percent cut on current expenditure (Non-Employees Related Expenditures) and fresh government purchasing to fulfill the condition of IMF for reducing the budget deficit.

The Finance Ministry has prepared roadmap of austerity measures under the guidance of Federal Cabinet for reviving the stalled loan program of the IMF.

The Finance Ministry has cut 15 percent (on an annualised basis) in current expenditure (Non-ERE) of all Ministries/Divisions/Attached Departments/Sub-ordinate offices/Autonomous Bodies etc except Ministry of Foreign Affairs expenditures on diplomatic missions abroad owing to currency depreciation effect. Necessary adjustment in their budget shall be made by the concerned Principal Accounting Officer.

The Finance Minister has communicated to the all Federal Ministries/Divisions/Attached Department/Subordinate office/ Autonomous Organizations etc to adhere to the instructions of the Federal Cabinet. Further, the ministry has also requested to all Principal Accounting Offices to report any exception or violation of the cabinet decision to the Finance Division.

The salaries, pension and allowances of the government employees are not included in the category of Non-employee Related Expenses (Non-ERE). According to the definition, the rent of offices and residential buildings, commuted value of pension, encashment of LPR and PM’s Assistance Package, utilities and POL charges etc are included in the category of the Non-ERE.

The Finance Ministry also intimated to the government institutions that there shall be complete ban on purchase of all new durables till June 2023, complete ban on purchase of all vehicles till June 2024.

“Single dish in case of meals and tea and biscuits on other occasions shall be served in government events/meetings. This will be served at official premises only and not in hotels except in case of foreign delegation”, further instructed by the Finance Ministry.

The PDM government has been agreed with the IMF to reduce the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) almost by 50 percent during the ninth Review Meeting under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) on first week of Feb in Islamabad to reduce the budget deficit.

Sources told the scribe that the government has agreed with IMF to decrease the PSDP from Rs.727 billion to Rs350 billion to secure the IMF loan program which is stalled from Oct of last year.

It is important to mention here that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar claimed that the Staff Level Agreement with IMF is expected next week as the country has fulfilled the prior conditions of the Fund.  

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