ISLAMABAD          -         The government has announced austerity plan to control its expenditures by imposing ban on purchase of new vehicles and creation of new posts during the current fiscal year 2020-21.

The ministry of finance on Friday unveiled the austerity measures for the financial year 2020-21 owing to the financial constraints. The austerity plan would be implemented with immediate effect. Under the austerity plan, there would be complete ban on purchase of all types of vehicles (excluding motorcycles) both for current as well as development expenditures. “Creation of new posts is banned, except those required for development projects and approved by the competent authority,” stated the Office Memorandum issued by the ministry of finance.

Privilege of periodical, magazines, newspapers etc to entitled officers would remain restricted to only one. Meanwhile, Principal Accounting Officers (PAOs) would ensure rationalized utility consumption i.e. electricity, gas, telephone, water etc and the expenditures on purchase of assets, repair and maintenance and all other operational expenditures should be kept at bare minimum level while, remaining within the budgetary allocation for the current fiscal year. “Two sides of paper shall be used in all official communications,” the Office Memorandum stated.

Considering the rationalization of the expenditures during critical economic constraints besides to cater with the indispensable needs of the ministries and divisions, the competent authority constituted an austerity committee. The committee would review the critical and unavoidable/ significant proposals only in respect of ban on purchase of vehicles and creation of posts imposed.

The committee would comprise of additional secretary finance (expenditures) as chairman, while other members would include senior joint secretary/joint secretary (expenditures), senior joint secretary/joint secretary (expenditures of the concerned ministry), representations of the concerned ministry or division (not less than an officer in BS-20) and deputy secretary (expenditures-CGA).

The Ministry of Finance has directed all the ministries and divisions to disseminate the information among all departments under their administrative control for strict compliance.