In order to verify the performance of the government with regards to the nationwide austerity measures approved by the federal cabinet last year, the auditor-general of Pakistan has asked the president’s and prime minister’s secretariats and all other ministries to submit a compliance report.
The letter, seen by The Express Tribune, has been circulated to all ministries and divisions, seeking a report on the recommendations made by the cabinet committee on austerity.
“Kindly advise your staff to keep an update ready on the status of recommendations concerning your ministry/division for the quarters ending March 2011 and June 2011 on priority,” reads the letter written by director general audit.
The detailed action plan on austerity measures is also attached with the letter which all ministries concerned have been advised to comply with.
Under the austerity plan, the president and prime minister had to reduce expenditures on foreign visits by 40 per cent in fiscal year 2010-11.
Similarly, the ministries have been asked to submit a report on whether they have also reduced their expenditures on foreign visits by 30 per cent in the last quarter.
The cabinet committee on austerity also decided to cap utility expenses of the president and prime minister after imposing 25 per cent cuts. Similar action was recommended for governors, chief ministers, federal and provincial ministers and other government officials.
All ministries and divisions have also been asked to submit a compliance report with regards to the 30 per cent cuts in entertainment expenditures, recommended by the committee.
Furthermore, it was also decided that supplementary grants would be presented quarterly to the parliament under austerity measures; however no grant should be more than 10 per cent in the individual accounts of each ministry. The auditor-general has asked for the compliance report to verify whether the ministries implemented austerity measures recommended by the cabinet committee.
“During the current month, a team of auditors will visit the officials concerned in your ministry/division to collect the information along with evidence of compliance,” the letter concludes.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011.