Pakistan: PM Shehbaz Sharif requests for additional 75 Million PKR

Pakistan: The office of Pakistan’s PM Shehbaz Sharif has requested an additional PKR 75 million or 16% budget for allowances, fuel, and food, rather than reducing expenses, which goes against the country’s national austerity policy.

The internal department requested the PM’s office with the approval of Shehbaz Sharif, and it has been reported that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has quietly approved a supplementary grant of PKR 18.5 million out of the total amount demanded. The sources have disclosed that this money was granted for employee expenses.

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The Ministry of Finance in Pakistan has yet to provide any information regarding the allocation of an extra PKR 18.5 million to the Prime Minister’s office, as they have tried to keep this matter a secret.

According to The Express Tribune, the Prime Minister’s office requested additional funds to counter the effects of inflation price increases, especially for petroleum, oil, lubricants, and food items. The National Assembly of Pakistan had previously approved a budget of PKR 993 million for the current fiscal year, with PKR 465 million allocated for the internal office of the PM and PKR 528 million for the PM’s public wing, as reported by the news outlet.

As per the reports, the Pakistan PM office has sought an hike of PKR 75 million in the internal wing’s budget, which will take the total inner wing budget to a hike of PKR 540 million. National Austerity Policy declared by the country’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the PM inner wing budget had to be decreased by 15% or PKR 70 million.

PM Shehbaz Sharif has also called for additional funds, and sources also revealed that this matter was discussed previously during the last ECC meeting. But the members of ECC did not favour other grants to the PM office, highlighting that it would be sensed as negative due to general economic conditions.

As per the reports, Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was against this demand. However, he later agreed with the demand for an additional grant to the extent of employee-related expenses.

The country PM office wrote a letter to the ECC that the internal wing is the main culprit for keeping and organising the official responsibilities of the prime minister, which needed financial provisions.

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The PM’s office highlighted that the allocated budget is being used as per the austerity measures. However, it emphasised that extra funds were required for employee-related expenses.

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