ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar said on Wednesday that the government was pursuing a policy of austerity and had taken various measures including abolishing of secret funds of 34 departments as well as the discretionary funds of the Prime Minister and Federal Minister.
He said the government is also slashing in non-salary expenditure by 30 percent and rationalizing fees of government servants nominated on the Board of Directors of Public Sector Enterprises.
This he said while chairing a meeting of a committee to review the performance of Pakistani missions abroad here.
The Finance Minister in his remarks appreciated the work of the committee and recommendations made by it to right size Pakistani Missions.
As a result of the recommendation of the committee it is estimated that the expenditure on Foreign mission would be reduced by Rs.3-3.5 billion annually.
The Finance Minister also informed the member of the Committee that the government would soon start a process to streamline the expenditures made by various Divisions, Attached department, Autonomies bodies etc, so that unnecessary non development expenditures can be checked and saving thus made were utilized for the development for the country.
After indepth deliberation on various options, the committee under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar approved the recommendations of the Sub-Committee with changes and expressed the hope that its implementation would be completed within 60 days from the date of approval by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The Committee also directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and concerned Ministries to submit the performance report of incumbent offices presently working on various positions in Pakistan Missions for consideration of the committee within the next 30 days.
The Finance Minister said that the Sub-Committee led by Senator Tariq Fatmi would be converted into a Implementation Committee which would over look the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee.
The Committee deliberated on the recommendations made by the Sub Committee constituted for the purpose headed by Special Assistant of Prime Minister Mr.Tariq Fatmi and assisted by the Special Assistant to Prime Minister Khawaja Zaheer, Secretaries of Cabinet and Finance.
The Sub-Committee was directed to consult concerned ministries whose officers were posted in various Pakistani Missions abroad before finalizing its recommendations.
It may be recalled that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had constituted a Special Committee under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar to review the performance of officers posted in Pakistani Missions abroad with a view to cut expenditures as part of the austerity drive of the present government without effecting the efficiency and national interest of Pakistan.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervez Rashid, Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, Minister of State for Commerce Khurram Dastagir, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman and Special Assistants to Prime Minister Tariq Fatmi and Khawaja Zaheer participated in the meeting along with senior civil and defence officials.