An investigative news article has claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office has sought Rs75 million for allowances, fuel, and food, a demand which is in stark contrast to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s austerity measures.
According to the details in the article, additional funds were demanded by the internal wing of the PM Office, with the alleged permission of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has already quietly sanctioned Rs 18.5 million supplementary grant out of the Rs75 million demanded by the PM Office, the article revealed.
“In order to keep the matter a secret, the Ministry of Finance did not mention the decision of allocating an additional Rs18.5 million to the PM Office in its official handout,” the article said.
“Although the summary for the Rs75 million grant had been circulated among the ministers before the meeting, it was not officially put on the ECC agenda to keep the matter hidden from the eyes of the public,” the article also said.
The article is making the rounds on social media with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif receiving criticism for demanding a high budget instead of cutting expenses as was publicly announced.
“The common man is being crippled under the weight of inflation and rupees are in freefall thanks to a corrupt and incompetent cabal of crooks thrust on the country, but Crime Minister’s expenses cannot be curtailed! No austerity for PM Office!” PTI leader Shireen Mazari said.
The common man is being crippled under weight of inflation & rupees is in freefall thx to corrupt & incompetent cabal of crooks thrust on country, but CrimeMinister's expenses cannot be curtailed! No austerity for PM office! pic.twitter.com/8q80CdVlr4
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) March 3, 2023
“Prime Minister’s House needs a further 7.5 crore funds. A begging bowl for loans and aid and an end of subsidies for the poor. But took out the funeral of his own national austerity policy,” journalist Asad Kharal said.
وزیر اعظم ہاؤس @CMShehbaz کومزید 7.5کے فنڈچاہیے
قرضوں اورامدادکےلئےاغیارکےسامنے کشکول
غریبوں کےلئےسبسڈی ختم
— Asad Kharal (@AsadKharal) March 3, 2023
“Prime Minister House needs another 7.5 crore funds. The austerity campaign has been blown up,” journalist Mansoor Ali Khan also said.
وزیر اعظم ہاؤس کو مزید 7.5 کروڑ کے فنڈ چاہیے ۔۔۔ کفایت شعاری مہم کو ہوا میں اُڑا دیا گیا۔ ✌🏽 pic.twitter.com/nZ0cdxOxde
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) March 3, 2023
Pertinent to mention Prime Minister Shehbaz constituted a 15-member national austerity committee for cutting down the ever-increasing expenses of his government. The austerity committee submitted its set of proposals, recommending a massive cut in the perks, privileges, and other luxuries enjoyed by the ruling elite, parliamentarians, judges, generals, and civil and military officers from taxpayers’ money. Several PML-N ministers are also working without salaries.
Read more: PML-N ministers to work without salaries