Govt’s austerity drive yields positive results

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Information Ministry spearheaded by Federal Minister Shibli Faraz plays its role in proper projection of govt activities and various developmental projects

Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister had promised to set an example of austerity while using public funds by the Prime Minister’s house and Prime Minister’s office. The Prime Minister fulfilled his promise and has significantly reduced the expenditures to save precious public money. The Prime Minister also set an example for the other government functionaries to save the public money wherever possible.

The Strategic Communication Wing of this Ministry has tabulated data, which reflected saving made by the Prime Minister’s office and Prime

According to the date prepared and shared with various departemtns of the Ministry and the relevant quarters, the expenditure Rs. 46M were used against the allocation of Rs. 218M Providing an example to rest of the government to rationalize their expenditures caring leadership. Effective and efficient use of tax payer money was also ensured thus setting an example of a responsible leadership. It is also a step forward towards Riasat-e[1]Madina.

Similarly, Travel & Transport Head Tax payers Saved 10M out of allocated budget. Entertainment & Gifts Tax payers Expenditure of Rs.1000 were allocated to this head compare to 1.5M 4. Physical Assets Tax payers Rs. 4M were saved under this head. Tour Expenses Tax payers Rs. 1.2M were spent out of allocated budget of 20M. Discretionary Grant Tax payers Rs.1000 were allocated against Rs. 1M 7. Wages of House hold servants Tax payers Expenditure under this head were cut down by Rs. 30M. Likewise, Prime Minister’s Estate Garden Establishment was done and tax payers Saving of Rs. 10M was made

Busting the myth of enhance expenditure at PMO in a recent programme on a private channel, it was alleged that PM office has, in contradiction to austerity measures, increased the budget/expenditures for the fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-2020, this news lacks factual data and devoid of any supporting evidence from official sources.

In the age of social media, where misinformation spreads with the speed of light, it is expected of traditional media to dig into facts before running a story. According to the official data from finance ministry, the expenditures for PMO has actually been reduced significantly as promised by PM Imran Khan. The federal Budget 2019-2020 volume 1 titled Current Expenditures serial no 13 PMO (page 302-310) clearly states a decrease in expenditures by PMO as compared to previous fiscal year.

In any budget there are two types of expenditures 1) Employees Related Expenses (ERE) 2) Operating expenses (OE). As far as ERE is concerned, these are the expenses that comprised of pay and allowances of officials and staff working at PMO and demand for ERE related expenses in 2019-2020 showed a slight increase that is an outcome of annual increments which is a basic right of government employees regardless of their posting which is also a cause of slight increase in total budget from previous year. 2: The demand estimates for the fiscal budget 2019 -2020 under the head of operating expenses amounted to approx. Rs.218460000 (218 million,) while actual allocated budget was approx. Rs. 46,399,000 (46 million), huge cut from proposed demand estimate. Similarly, a considerable reduction was done under “travel and transportation head” worth of approx. Rs. 10 million. In addition to that, a visible reduction of budget can be seen under the head of “Entertainment & Gifts” from 1.5 million to just only RS. 1000. (that too to keep head of account alive).

As far as expenditures on “Physical Assets” are concerned, a reduction of approx. PKR 4 million was done on the instructions of PM. Another massive cut was placed on “Tour Expenses” of worth Rs.1.2 millions. Moreover, an amount of approximately Rs.20 million was reduced from “Miscellaneous expenditures”. The most important and prominent reduction was shown under “Discretionary Grants” where only Rs. 1000 were allocated (just to keep the head of A/c alive) from original estimate of Rs. 1 Million. The expenditure on “Wages of Household Servant” was cut by approximately Rs. 30 million that shows PM is adhering to his vision of austerity. Under “Prime Minister’s Estate Garden Establishment” a reduction of approx. Rs. 10 million was done.

The above-mentioned data repudiates incorrect data quoted on a talk show. PM Imran Khan has kept his words by reducing expenditures of his office so that a minimum burden may be placed on exchequer. This action of PM Imran Khan sets an example for all other political leaders to reduce unnecessary expenditures while not compromising on their performance.