'Austerity at PM House saved Rs147m'

By APP
Published: November 15, 2018
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Prime Minister Imran Khan. PHOTO: GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN.

Prime Minister Imran Khan. PHOTO: GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN.

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Media Affairs Iftikhar Durrani has said that the government has introduced a comprehensive austerity drive in all departments and the Rs147 million so far saved from the Prime Minister House is expected to increase at the end of the year.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Durrani highlighted savings at the PM House and said the saved amount would be spent on public welfare projects, including health and nutrition.

He said that the repair and maintenance cost at the PM House had been reduced from Rs8 million to Rs3.4 million while daily expense had also been curtailed.

The adviser went on to say that 200 of the 522 employees of the PM House and Secretariat had been adjusted in other areas while 125 more would be phased out in the next step.

“PM Khan has full regard for feelings of the poor and has made it clear to all ministers to introduce austerity measures in their departments,” he said.

He said that from the next week, ministers would brief about austerity measures adopted in their departments. He claimed that because of the current sincere leadership, various countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, were willing to invest in Pakistan.

Durrani said that achievements over the government’s 100-day plan would be shared with the media on the completion of 100 days on November 29.

To a question, he said the Punjab government and a task force were working on the issue of Southern Punjab province and an administrative structure was being planned in Multan as an initial step.

About the outstanding dues of media houses, he said the present government did not run any campaign on print or electronic media and the payments of previous tenure would be made at the earliest.

“The prime minister has directed the Ministry of Information and the Government of Punjab to pay the amount of Rs3 billion,” he added.

To a question about the allegations against him of dual nationality, Durrani said, “I am a Pakistani holding a green passport and assure on oath that I own nothing in any foreign country.”

He revealed that the government was planning to amend a National Assembly rule following which the PM would personally answer questions once a week.

“The PM has the authority to reshuffle cabinet members if he deems it necessary,” said Durrani, adding that Imran was reviewing the performance of all cabinet members.

About the participation of a foreign delegation at a Milaad Conference being organised by the government, Durrani said a briefing would be held on Thursday to formally decide about their participation. APP

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