ISLAMABAD -  The ministry of finance on Thursday unveiled austerity measures for the current fiscal year to control the expenditures of the country including imposing ban on purchase of all types of vehicles, creation of new posts and reducing petrol usage limit for cabinet members and government functionaries. “Keeping in view 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 fiscal deficit. Accordingly, the federal government is pleased to enforce following austerity measures for financial year 2022-23,” said ministry of finance in a notification. Under the austerity measures, there shall be complete ban on 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. Meanwhile, there would also be ban on creation of new posts except those required for development projects and ban on treatment abroad at govt expenses. Similarly, there would be ban on appointment of contingent paid/daily wagers staff except for development projects and purchase of office furniture except for development projects. The govt has also imposed ban on purchase of machinery & equipment including air conditioners, microwave, fridge, photocopier, etc. Meanwhile, it has stopped official visits abroad by govt. functionaries where GoP funding is involved except obligatory visits. Under the austerity measures, there would be ban on official lunches/dinners/hi-tea except for foreign delegations and issuance of periodical, magazines, news papers, etc.

There shall be complete ban on purchase of all types of vehicles from current and development budget except utility vehicles

The government has directed the Principal Accounting Officers to ensure that consumption of utilities should be reduced by 10 percent, existing entitlement for POL for government functionaries be reduced by 30 percent, avoidable travel be curtailed by promoting use of zoom/ video links and vacant /redundant /nonproductive posts should be abolished. In addition to above, federal government has further decided that: POL usage of ministers’ vehicles would be slashed by 40 percent and security vehicles of Cabinet members would be reduced by 50 percent. It has also decided that VIP cavalcades’ expense would be reduced without compromising security. The ministry of finance has requested all ministries/divisions to disseminate the above instructions to all their concerned departments/organizations/ autonomous bodies/corporations/ authorities, etc. for strict compliance. Meanwhile, the federal government has also asked the provincial governments to adopt these /such measures. AUSTERITY COMMITTEE The government has also constituted austerity committee headed by Finance Minister. “In pursuance of the decision taken by the Federal Cabinet, in case No. 147/15/2022, in its meeting held on 07-06-2022, following Austerity Committee is hereby constituted”. Finance Minister would the chairman of the committee while other members are Minister for Planning, Minister for Communication, Minister for Commerce, Minister for Maritime Affairs, Minister of State for Finance, Secretary Finance, Secretary Planning, Secretary Industries, Additional Finance Secretary (Expenditure) Secretary. The Terms of Reference (ToRs) of Austerity Committee shall be as follows: (i) to periodically review and ensure implementation of Austerity Measures and matters linked thereto for financial year 2022-23; (ii) to invite proposals from Principal Accounting Officers (PAOs) for curtailing expenditures; (iii) to approve proposals for relaxation from the approved measures; (iv) to constitute a separate committee for reviewing need and utility of autonomous bodies, SOEs, corporations, authorities, etc.