Luxury cars, expensive foreign trips get axe as PM Shehbaz unveils austerity measures


ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rolled out stringent austerity measures as the crisis-hit Pakistan moved to slash expenditure amid facing the worst economic meltdown.

Sharif, along with his cabinet members holds a presser, where he announced that all government officials, especially his aides will not draw salaries to save Rs200 billion on annual basis.

He announced auctioning of luxury vehicles, saying only one vehicle will be provided to members. Officials will not travel in first class while abroad and on local visits. Members accompanying the official delegation will be cut down and only choose adequate accommodations over expensive ones.

Earlier in the day, the premier chaired session of the federal cabinet in which the austerity policy was adopted. In his address, the PM said austerity will remain paramount important as pinned hope to get out of the ongoing crisis soon.

PM sounds alarm of more inflation

In today’s presser, Shehbaz said inflation will increase after IMF agreement. He maintained that the country has to bear the brunt of soaring prices to move toward economic stability.

He however maintained that most of the taxes were imposed on luxury items. Finance Minister Dar was trying to stabilize the local currency, he said, and added that he met all conditions set by the lender for the staff-level meeting.

Sharif also acknowledged that the middle-class segment of society always sacrificed in country’s history.