From ISI to Cabinet: Pakistan's austerity measures might not spare anyone as default looms

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday announced a slew of austerity measures to cut the government's costs amid a worsening economic situation. He said new measures would save Rs 200 billion annually

Pakistan PM announces
austerity measures to
prevent default

Addressing a press conference, Sharif said that his special advisers and all ministers had decided to forego their salaries. He said ministers would now pay their own telephone, electricity, water, and gas bills

All ministers to pay
their own bills

Pakistan PM Sharif also announced that all luxury cars being used by the cabinet members will be auctioned. Where needed, he said, ministers will be provided only one car for security

Cabinet members' luxury
cars to be auctioned

All the federal ministers would now travel in the economy class when undertaking domestic travel or going abroad, the prime minister announced. He said that support staff would no longer be allowed to go on state visits

Pakistan federal ministers to travel in economy

Under Pakistan's new austerity measures, the cabinet members would not stay in five-star hotels during foreign trips. And the current expenditure of ministries and departments would be reduced by 15 pc

No five-star hotels
during foreign trips

Pakistan has also decided to open offices at 7:30 am during the summer to conserve gas and electricity. The country is running short on forex reserves and it can't afford to buy oil

Pak govt offices to open at
7:30 am to save energy

As per the new measures, there will only be one dish in all the ministries in Islamabad, the PM's House, and the federal cabinet. If it is tea time, then only tea and biscuits will be provided

Only one dish in all Pak

The Pakistan PM said there were British-era govt houses on several acres where police officers and ministers were residing while hundreds of thousands were homeless. Now, the govt employees would not be allotted more than one plot

Not more than one plot
to Pak govt employees

Pakistan may also cap discretionary grants, and secret service funds of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB). The cash-strapped nation has reportedly cut food supply in the army mess

ISI's fund likely to be capped

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