Punjab bans Iftar parties on govt expenditure under stern austerity measures


LAHORE – The caretaker government in Punjab has restricted Iftar parties at the official expense and this ban would be applicable to the ministers, secretaries, and other government officials.

A circular issued by Punjab Services and General Administration Department banned Ramadan’s Iftar parties at the state’s expense, besides giving official gifts and souvenirs as a part of the saving plan.

“The competent authority has directed to observe utmost Austerity in usage of public money, through strict financial discipline. There shall be a complete ban on Official Iftar Parties arranged by government departments during the Holy Month of Ramadan”, the notification reads.

The austerity measures are part of the national cost-cutting drive as the government axed a series of expenditures in line with directions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as fifth most populous country is facing the worst financial crisis in recent memory.

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

Last month, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rolled out stringent austerity measures. The premier announced that all government officials, especially his aides will not draw salaries to save Rs200 billion on annual basis.

He further 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.