PESHAWAR: Notifying austerity measures for the current month, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finance department has banned the creation of posts, the purchase of vehicles, participation in foreign training programmes and workshops, and the holding of seminars in five-star hotels.

In a letter to all departments on Tuesday, the department said the chief minister had set the “guiding principles for fiscal discipline” and they would be effective from April 1 to April 30.

On Friday, the provincial government approved the expenditure authorisation for the month of April as well as austerity measures.

“There will be a complete ban on the creation of posts, excluding completed development projects. Besides, there will also be a ban on the purchase of vehicles except ambulances, earthmoving machinery, fire trucks, tractors, trucks, buses, passenger vans, prisoners vans, motorcycles, water bowser trucks, recovery and rescue vehicles, and rescue and lifesaving boats,” said the finance department in the letter.

Says all posts lying vacant for three years will be abolished unless justified by depts

It also banned government employees’ participation in foreign workshops, seminars, and training programmes involving the province’s funds, as well as the holding of seminars and workshops in five-star hotels.

The department said a ban had been slapped on foreign treatment at the provincial government’s expense, while extensions in the contractual period of project employees won’t be allowed unless justified by the relevant administrative departments and decided in consultation with it.

It said all administrative secretaries and heads of autonomous bodies shall conduct meetings of departmental accounts committees regularly to ensure internal audits of their respective departments.

“The expenditure shall be restricted to the funds released, and the administrative departments shall not incur expenditures in anticipation of additional or supplementary grants.”

The department said that in order to improve efficiency in revenue collection, the provincial revenue review committee shall meet regularly under the chairmanship of the minister for finance to review the performance of all revenue collecting entities of the provincial government and to propose structural changes, performance indicators, legal reforms, and other realignments in the procedures.

It added that no appointment would be made against “leave vacancies” without its prior approval, while there won’t be any appointments to vacancies, except appointments by promotion, without the issuance of the No Objection Certificate by the relevant surplus pool.

“The principal accounting officers will make sure that no appointment is made for vacant posts of dying cadres and will also initiate disciplinary proceedings if such appointments have been made previously,” it said.

The department said no development schemes involving the creation of posts or the purchase of vehicles, machinery, equipment, or furniture would be considered without its prior clearance.

It also said all posts that had been vacant for the past three years would be abolished by it unless justified by the administrative department.

“All autonomous bodies, medical teaching institutions, other institutions, and authorities under the provincial government will adopt these austere measures within their respective organisations with the approval of competent forums,” it said in the letter.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2024

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