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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Media Iftikhar Durrani on Wednesday said Prime Minister Imran Khan would take MNAs’ questions from next session of the National Assembly.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Durrani said the government was on track in implementing the 100-day agenda.

He said government’s austerity measures had started yielding results as they had reduced the trust deficit between people and government.

“Pakistan ranks fifth in philanthropy but our tax payment ratio is very low because people do not have trust and faith in the government functionaries,” he added.

Mr Durrani said the government had shunned the lavish lifestyle which was the hallmark of previous rulers.

Mr Durrani said cut in expenses of the PM House would likely save Rs137 million.

Replying to a question regarding laying off of 524 employees of PM House, he said 200 of them had already been merged in different government departments.

“The saving would be utilised in public welfare projects like the health card and child nutrition programme,” the special assistant said.

He said Imran Khan had borne expenses of his current residence renovation, adding that negotiations with the Higher Education Commission were underway to convert PM House into a university.

He said other cabinet members had also adopted similar austerity measures and ministers would brief media about the impact of these measures on the national exchequer.

Replying to a question about dual nationals in the cabinet, Mr Durrani said directions of the Supreme Court were clear about government officials and those holding public offices but unclear about the assistants to the prime minister. He, however, denied holding dual nationality.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2018

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