Govt constitutes 15-member ‘austerity’ committee

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National Austerity Committee

Islamabad: Keeping in view Pakistan’s economic woes, the federal government has constituted a 15-member National Austerity Committee to reduce public expenditures and to finalize recommendations about five major terms of reference (ToRs) to ensure “austerity” at the government level.

A notification issued by the finance ministry on Thursday notified the formation of the National Austerity Committee under the chairmanship of Nasir Mahmood Khosa — a retired civil servant and one of the PTI’s nominees for the post of the interim chief minister of Punjab.

Nasir Khosa will be the convener of the committee, while Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Pasha has been made the co-convener of the austerity committee.

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The other members of the committee include SAPM on government effectiveness, SAPM on finance, adviser to the PM on establishment, secretary Cabinet Division, Secretary Finance, secretary Power Division, secretary Housing, and Works, Chairman CDA, chief secretaries (Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Balochistan), renowned economist Dr. Kaiser Bengali, economist/analyst Dr. Farrukh Saleem, economist/ consultant Dr. M. Zubair Khan and governance specialist Muhammad Naveed Iftikhar.

The committee TORs are:

  1. To reduce public expenditure and ensure fiscal discipline, 
  2. To take measures to economize government operations, to review and rationalize the size of the government 
  3. To achieve optimal and smart organizational structures, including a review of SOEs and corporations having redundant or overlapping functions, 
  4. To invite proposals from ministries/divisions regarding austerity measures, including curtailment of expenditure and 
  5. Any other issue that is relevant or incidental to the achievement of austerity in government operations.