ISLAMABAD - Amid the COVID-19 crisis with the government advising the pri­vate employers and industries not to lay off workers, the ruling Pa­kistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) itself has sacked over two dozen em­ployees of its Central Secretariat under the “austerity drive”.

In compliance with Chairman (Prime Minister Imran Khan)’s in­structions of bringing austerity in PTI’s operational cost, the man­agement has reviewed the party structure and decided to abolish the post of …,” said each termina­tion letter issued by Zahid Hussain Kazmi, the administrator of Cen­tral Secretariat and Vice President of the party.

All the sacked employees have been asked that their services were no more required from 1st of June (today). However, the par­ty has given each terminated em­ployee a financial package equiva­lent to two-month salary.

Under the austerity drive, the monitoring and research wing of PTI’s Central Media Department has almost been abolished. The monitoring wing had been observ­ing print and electronic media.

Most of the laid off employees belonged to the Central Media De­partment besides of IT, and main­tenance departments, admin and telephone operators. “We have been laid off abruptly in the name of cutting operational costs of the party at a time when our families need money to face the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic,” a sacked employee informed The Nation wishing anonymity.

Central Secretary Information PTI Ahmad Jawad told The Nation that around 30 employees have been laid off as the Central Secre­tariat was facing financial difficul­ties to meet its huge expenditures. “It had become difficult for the sec­retariat to manage this budge as it had to pay up to Rs 3 million in monthly salaries,” he said adding that the number of employees had been decreased to lessen the finan­cial burden on the secretariat.