ISLAMABAD: In line with the government’s decision to meet IMF demands to cut the fiscal deficit, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday constituted a 15-member committee on austerity measures for better utilisation of public money amid a substantial increase in the burden on people through an upcoming hike in electricity and gas rates and additional taxation measures.
The committee has been constituted “keeping in view the financial challenges being faced by the country, to conserve resources and to take austerity measures for ensuring rational utilisation of public money besides curtailing expenditure to reduce the fiscal deficit”, said a notification issued by the ministry of finance.
Led by former bureaucrat Nasir Mahmood Khosa, the committee comprises Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, SAPM on government effectiveness and finance, PM’s adviser on the establishment, secretaries of the cabinet, finance, power and cabinet division besides chief secretaries of four provinces, chairman Capital Development Authority, Dr Kaiser Bengali, Dr Furrukh Saleem, Dr Zubair Khan and Naveed Iftikhar.
The committee would make proposals to reduce public expenditure and ensure fiscal discipline, take measures to economise government operations and review and rationalise the size of the government to achieve optimal and smart organisational structures including a review of SOEs and corporations having redundant or overlapping functions.
The committee will also invite proposals from ministries and divisions regarding austerity measures including curtailment of expenditure and any other issue that may be relevant or incidental to the achievement of austerity in government operations.
The committee is required to submit its recommendations within 15 days for consideration by the Prime Minster. Finance Division will provide secretarial support to the Committee.
Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2023