Islamabad: The National Austerity Committee (NAC) has recommended cutting salaries and perks for parliamentarians by 15% and government employees by 10% till June 2024 to reduce public expenditure and ensure fiscal discipline.
In its proposal, the NAC also recommended recovering more than one plot from civil and military bureaucrats, judges, and other influential segments of society.
According to a report published in The News, all plots given away at throwaway prices will be recovered and auctioned off to pay off the growing public debt.
Moreover, it has also recommended the installation of pre-paid meters in gas and electricity sectors all over the country
In its recommendations, the NAC has assigned the Ministry of Finance to work out the financial impact of each recommendation for attaching to the final version of the report.
Rough and initial estimates show that the NAC recommendation could save the national exchequer resources ranging from Rs500 billion to Rs1,000 billion on an annual basis if implemented in its true letter and spirit.
The NAC has also suggested slapping a ban on foreign visits, adding that only obligatory visits should be allowed with the permission of the competent authority.
It has recommended the adoption of an e-procurement system at all tiers of government.
Among others, the NAC has also recommended that the size of the federal cabinet should not exceed more than 30 members. In case of any compulsion, other members of the federal cabinet should work on a pro bono basis.
It is yet to be seen how Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government is going to approve these recommendations at a time when the government has jacked up the controversial Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Achievement Programme from Rs68 billion to Rs89 billion for the current fiscal year.