The Traders Welfare Association of Super Market on Tuesday urged the government to completely restrict the import of cars for use by government personnel as well as limit official use vehicles to a 1000cc maximum.
In this regard, the association’s president, Sarfraz Mughal, mentioned the austerity measures taken by Mohammad Khan Junejo in 1985 and Nawaz Sharif in the 1990s, adding that the action might be a way to reduce petroleum imports and reduce the current account deficit (CAD).
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It is impossible to assess the effectiveness of Mughal’s idea because the government does not give a complete list of all the vehicles utilized for official business. In accordance with the Rules for the Usage of Staff Cars, the Cabinet Division now controls the use of official vehicles (1980).
Government employees BPS-16 and above currently have access to staff cars for official purposes. Assigned personal vehicles are as follows:
Officials with vehicles above the aforementioned ceiling are provided vehicles on an ad-hoc basis and will continue to use the vehicle until it is due for replacement. Furthermore, government officials BPS-20 and above are also allocated petrol and CNG ceilings as follows:
Mr Junejo had announced the austerity drive in 1985 under which luxury vehicles for government officials had been replaced with 800cc to 1,000cc cars/vehicles. Under the policy, he said, it had been made mandatory for all government officials, including military establishments, to use small cars/vehicles.
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His office and official residence also became a model for government officials as the prime minister had started entertaining his personal and family guests from his personal funds.
“We have been importing petroleum products of around $20 billion. Other expenses include payment of interest on foreign loans in foreign exchange. The nation should unite now to devise a strategy for repayment of debt. Politicians and businessmen should contribute from their wealth for repayment of the national debt,” Mr. Mughal said.