The monitoring committee to oversee the implementation of the federal government’s austerity measures on Monday expressed concern over the failure to return luxury vehicles by several ministers and senior government officials and sought an immediate return of the same to the Cabinet Division.
Chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the second meeting of the monitoring committee reviewed the implementation of decisions taken during its first meeting. In a briefing on the use of luxury vehicles by government officials, which the government had announced would be withdrawn, the committee was informed that a “majority of the allocated vehicles” had been returned by members of the cabinet, but nearly half were still in use. The committee directed the Cabinet Division to strictly implement the decision and take custody of all luxury vehicles within three days.
The meeting also deliberated on the withdrawal of security vehicles, while expressing “serious concerns” on the use of over-1,800cc vehicles by some officers. It directed all authorities to immediately halt the use of such vehicles.
During the meeting, the committee directed the Law Ministry to approach the superior judiciary and suggest the implementation of austerity measures. It was also directed to approach the Senate chairman and the National Assembly speaker to advise the use of tele-conferences for all meetings to save time and expenditures. According to the briefing, the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination has already approached all provincial governments to suggest their implement similar austerity measures.
A statement issued by the Finance Division said the meeting had also discussed office hours for Ramzan, deciding that work would commence at 7:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m., except for Friday when it would end at 12:30 p.m. This schedule would also be followed in the summer, per a decision of the cabinet, it added.
Emphasizing the country’s financial woes, the finance minister urged all participants to expedite the implementation of austerity measures with sincerity and true spirit without any exceptions.
Apart from Dar, the meeting was also attended by Education and Professional Training Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain; Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar; Advise to the P.M. on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit- Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira; Special Assistant to the P.M. on Finance Tariq Bajwa; SAPM on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha; and relevant federal secretaries and senior officers.