PM Shehbaz stresses collective efforts to rid Pakistan of economic challenges
Says austerity measures will save the exchequer an amount of Rs200 billion annually
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stressed on Thursday that collective efforts could help Pakistan get rid of the economic challenges.
Taking to Twitter, he said the austerity measures that began with the cabinet members voluntarily surrendering their pays, perks and privileges would save the exchequer an amount of Rs200 billion annually. The premier said he would personally supervise the implementation of the austerity measures.
He also expressed his gratitude to all the coalition partners for their support.
“Amid economic difficulties, the expression of solidarity & sharing the burden is the governing spirit of austerity measures of our government. It is leadership by personal example,” reads the tweet.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) February 23, 2023
On Wednesday, the prime minister unveiled austerity measures amid economic crunch and said the government was trying to save the public from scorching inflation. Addressing a press conference, he said the ministers, state ministers and special advisers to the premier had decided to forgo their salaries and perks. He said all ministers had also decided to pay their own utility bills.
Pakistan is facing an economic crunch and has been negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the next tranche of $1.1 billion. The international lender has set very tough conditions and demanded that Pakistan boost its tax base, end exemptions for the export sector and raise energy prices.
The prime minister said, “All luxury cars being used by cabinet members are being called back and will be auctioned.” “Where needed, only one car will be provided for security.”
Mr Sharif said the deal with the IMF would be unlocked soon, adding that the “matters would be settled in a few days” but it would cause further inflation. He said Pakistan had fulfilled almost all of IMF’s conditions.
The premier also announced that only one car would be provided for security purposes where necessary and federal ministers would also travel in economy class when going abroad on state visits. He added that the government had passed a mini-budget under which new taxes would be levied on big corporations, adding that these measures would protect the common man from inflation to some extent.