Over 71,000 govt posts abolished under reforms policy

Updated 05 Aug 2020

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Number of federal government departments has been brought down to 324 from 441, PM's adviser says. — Dawn/File
Number of federal government departments has been brought down to 324 from 441, PM's adviser says. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: More than 71,000 posts in various government departments have been abolished under the institutional reforms policy.

This information was shared during a meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday.

According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister Office after the meeting, the cabinet also took several other decisions and expressed satisfaction over the country’s economic situation.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain gave a briefing on the restructuring of the federal government. He said that over 71,000 posts in various federal government departments lying vacant for over a year had been abolished. After the restructuring process, the number of federal government departments had been brought down to 324 from 441, he added.

About reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Dr Hussain said the World Bank had approved a programme aimed at increasing revenue and simplifying the tax system in the country. He said the process of automation was under way in the FBR and the systems of collecting sales and withholding taxes as well as refund of export had been simplified.

Cabinet satisfied with country’s economic situation; PM gives depts 24-hour ultimatum to clear dues of media houses

The adviser said that for the first time the tariff system had been shifted from the FBR to the National Tariff Commission for the benefit of the business community.

On the issue of outstanding dues of media houses, the prime minister gave a 24-hour ultimatum to government departments that had failed to clear the dues.

Economic situation

The cabinet expressed satisfaction over the country’s economic situation.

It was informed that the current account deficit, which had gone up to $20 billion during the last government’s tenure, had seen a 78pc reduction. “It has reduced to $3 billion,” the press release said, adding that an increase of $3.2bn in foreign remittances was also witnessed this year.

The cabinet was told that after facing an adverse impact of Covid-19, the country’s economy was now experiencing an upward trend, with an increase of $3bn in direct foreign investment — a 7pc jump under the head. It was informed that under the Rs701bn Public Sector Development Programme, an amount of Rs586bn was spent which generated economic activity in the country.

The cabinet approved the decisions recently taken by the Economic Coordination Committee. It gave a go-ahead to the Trading Corporation of Pakistan to import 300,000 tonnes of sugar to cater to the local demand, and also ordered import of wheat.

The cabinet was apprised of the National Information Technology Board projects which include e-services digital platform, Kamyab Jawan Digital Platform, Yaran-i-Watan for overseas doctors, Satellite Information Dashboard, Task Trading System, National Job Portal, Women Empowerment Portal, Durust Daam, launch of 20 websites and establishment of websites of various government organisations.

The cabinet approved the appointment of a prominent banker, Seema Kamil, as deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.

Under the Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programme, the meeting decided to reduce the cost of gas development schemes. It also gave its nod to the renewal of domestic and international licence of the PIA for regular public transport and aerial work for two years, approved the charter of Pakistan Global Institute Rawat, Capital Territory Home-based Workers Protection Bill-2020 and appointment of Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources Islamabad chairman, besides renaming Kashmir Highway as Srinagar Highway.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2020