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WORLD NEWS | Pakistan PM’s office demands budget increase in defy state austerity: report

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Pakistani Prime Minister Sheikh Baz Sharif

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 4 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s office has sought PKR 75 million or 16% of the extra budget for allowances, fuel and food instead of cuts, the Express Tribune reported. Prime Minister Sharif’s decision goes against the country’s austerity policy.

An internal unit of the prime minister’s office had sought additional funding with Shehbaz Sharif’s permission, The Tribune reported, citing documents. The Economic Coordinating Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has quietly approved a supplementary allocation of PKR 18.5 million out of the PKR 75 million requested by the Prime Minister’s Office, sources said. According to sources, the money was used to cover staff-related expenses.

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In order to keep the matter confidential, Pakistan’s finance ministry in its official handout gave no details about the additional allocation of PKR 18.5 million to the Prime Minister’s Office. According to the Tribune, the Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan raised the funding requirement to offset the impact of “inflation, rising prices, especially POL and food”.

The National Assembly of Pakistan has approved the Prime Minister’s Office budget of PKR 993 million for the current fiscal year. According to news reports, the funds included PKR 465 million for the Prime Minister’s Internal Office and PKR 528 million for the Prime Minister’s Public Sector.

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According to details, the Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan has sought to increase the internal wing budget by PKR 75 million, which would bring the total internal wing budget to PKR 540 million. Under the national austerity policy announced by Shehbaz Sharif, the Prime Minister’s internal budget must be reduced by 15% or PKR 70 million. However, the Prime Minister’s Office requested additional funding.

According to the Tribune, sources said the matter was discussed at the last ECC meeting. Some members of the ECC said there should be no additional grant from the Cabinet agency to the Prime Minister’s Office, stressing that this would be seen as a negative due to the current economic conditions.

According to reports, Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar initially opposed the request. However, he later approved the additional amount in the range of employee-related expenses.

According to the Tribune, the Prime Minister’s Office wrote to the ECC, the internal department responsible for holding and arranging the Prime Minister’s official commitments, which require financial allocations.

The Prime Minister’s Office stressed that the allocated budget was used in accordance with austerity measures. However, it highlighted the need for additional funds to cover staff-related costs. According to the documents, Shehbaz Sharif has seen them. (Arnie)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the body of content may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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