Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first step of taking austerity measures soon after taking his office is just a bigging as it hints at major economic and social reforms on its way in the country.
With his announcement, he has sent a strong message and warning to the ‘pampered’ bureaucracy to cut down their expenses — or face the conqueuences.
Now the officials will have to shun the luxurious lifestyle which they have been enjoying at the expense of the taxpayers’ money leading to savings of millions of dollars every year.
Imran Khan has started off well with his austerity campaign by leading from the front after he refused to stay in plush prime minister house and opted to stay in a three-bedroom apartment.
He drastically cut down on prime minister’s staff and the use of dozens of bulletproof vehicles.
Discretionary funds scrapped
His move to abolish discretionary funds for politicians and bureaucrats will also certainly ease burden on the national exchequer.
These are small steps but will definitely have huge impact on the economy and overall working culture in the country.
And of course, general public especially his supporters are very pleased to see the end of VIP culture from the society.
In Pakistan, top government officials are known for lavish lifestyle as they ruthlessly used official vehicles for their children’s school run or shopping trips for their wives, un-necessary foreign trips, huge travelling allowances, lavish parties and living in huge houses.
This ends now as Imran Khan has promised to name and shame those who violate the austerity code.
Though the new premier’s move are widely welcome, he will have to come up with a comprehensive plan to get the country out of huge debts.
The alarming fiscal deficit and soaring foreign debt repayments are staring at his face as the new government may have to turn to IMF or the World Bank to get fresh loan to run the country and pay the loan instalments.
According to experts, Pakistan needs at least $8 billion during the next six months to deal with balance of payments as the country’s foreign debts has crossed $91 billion.
As was promised during his election campaign, Imran Khan should also turn massive buildings used by governors, chief ministers and ministers to either educational institutions to ensure education for 25 million children who are out of school in Pakistan.