Despite National Austerity Committee’s suggestion, discretionary spending budget of parliamentarians increased to Rs90 billion
The committee also sought a 10% decrease in the salary and allowance of legislators, along with a 15% cut in the current expenditures of ministries
Despite Pakistan’s current economic crisis and the National Austerity Committee’s suggestion to review the practice of ‘dolling out billions’ to parliamentarians, the government has decided to increase the discretionary spending budget to Rs90 billion.
Since the nation is at risk of default, the National Austerity Committee has recommended authorities cut down the federal cabinet to only 30 members from 77 previously. Likewise, it was also suggested that the layoff should also include the special assistants to the prime minister.
The discretionary spending budget increased to Rs90 billion
The committee also sought a 10% decrease in the salary and allowance of legislators, along with a 15% cut in the current expenditures of ministries. The committee finalized useful recommendations, and the responsibility was put on the government to implement them or put them in the cupboard, as carried out in the past.
The government has decided to give Rs3 billion to the parliamentarians by cutting the budget of an educational institute and the Innovation Support Project. Around Rs1.4 billion budget of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) was removed, Rs800 million from the budget of the Innovative Support Project was cut, and Rs800 million, which was given for the construction of the Planning House, was also reduced.
A member of the committee revealed to news sources that they have finalized a recommendation, which will ask the government to stop the implementation of the development projects through provincial assemblies, the Senate, and the National Assembly. Spending done on these practices was prone to corruption, and misuse of resources and although the schemes were needed at village levels, they couldn’t be executed efficiently. For the current fiscal year, the PDM government allocated Rs70 billion for the parliamentarians’ schemes, which was increased to Rs87 billion a few months prior.
Pakistan’s current economic situation, which raised the default risks, didn’t allow spending on projects where there were high risks of misuse, and the primary objective was gaining political benefit.
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