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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

PM Approves Hefty Bonuses for Bureaucrats while Working Class Struggles

Amid Pakistan's economic crisis and bailout negotiations with the IMF, controversy brews as the PM's Office approves hefty bonuses for officials, sparking public outrage and questions about fiscal prudence.

Amid Pakistan’s dire economic straits and imminent IMF bailout negotiations, the approval of substantial bonuses for officers within the Prime Minister’s office has sparked widespread condemnation, shedding light on the government’s misplaced priorities.

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s decision to greenlight four months’ worth of salaries as rewards for officials has reignited public outrage, particularly as the nation grapples with soaring inflation rates and escalating utility bills. The move, just days before Aurangzeb’s departure for crucial talks in Washington, has raised serious questions about fiscal prudence and accountability.

Critics point to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s previous allocation of millions in bonuses to ministers, a move that occurred against the backdrop of mounting loan repayments and urgent pleas to international lenders for financial assistance. The irony of rewarding government officials while the country faces a looming debt crisis has not been lost on the Pakistani public.

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Sources reveal that the proposal for bonuses originated within the PM’s Office, despite the absence of extraordinary accomplishments warranting such rewards. Moreover, the decision to finance these bonuses through loans at a staggering 23% interest rate has only exacerbated concerns about the country’s precarious financial situation.

As Aurangzeb and Secretary Finance Imdad Ullah Bosal prepare to attend IMF meetings in Washington, the optics of rewarding government officials at a time of economic distress threaten to undermine Pakistan’s credibility and complicate negotiations for much-needed financial assistance.

Lavish spending of public tax money by the PMLN continues, as Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz seeks 2.5 crores for her car’s renovation, raising concerns about the priorities of the ruling elite amidst public suffering.