Prime Minister keeps his words; official data shows significant reduction in PM Office expenditures

ISLAMABAD:With the allocation of approximately Rs. 46 million as against the demand estimates of Rs. 218 million in the Federal Budget 2019-20 for operating expenses, the expenditures of Prime Minister Office have registered significant decrease.

Similarly, a considerable reduction of approximately Rs. 10 million has been recorded under the head of “Travel and Transportation”, according to an official data of the Ministry of Finance.

In a recent programme on a private channel, it was claimed that the Prime Minister Office had, in contradiction to austerity measures, increased the budget/expenditures for the fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-2020.

“This news lacks factual data and devoid of any supporting evidence from official sources. In the age of social media, where misinformation spreads with the speed of light, it is expected of traditional media to dig into facts before running a story,” official sources remarked.

According to the official data, the expenditures for Prime Minister Office have actually been reduced significantly as pledged by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“The Federal Budget 2019-2020 volume 1 titled Current Expenditures serial No 13 PMO (page 302-310) clearly states a decrease in expenditures by PMO as compared to previous fiscal year,” the sources added.

According to the official date, in addition to the above mentioned decreases, a visible reduction of budget can be seen under the head of “Entertainment & Gifts” from Rs. 1.5 million to just Rs. 1000 (that too to keep the head of account alive).

As far as the expenditures on “Physical Assets” were concerned, the official sources said that a reduction of approximately Rs. 4 million was done on the instructions of the Prime Minister.

Another massive cut was also placed on “Tour Expenses” of worth Rs.1.2 million.

Moreover, an amount of approximately Rs. 20 million was reduced from “Miscellaneous Expenditures”.

The most important and prominent reduction was shown under “Discretionary Grants” where only Rs. 1000 were allocated (just to keep the head of A/C alive) from original estimates of Rs. one million.

The expenditure on “Wages of Household Servant” was cut by approximately Rs. 30 million, depicting that Prime Minister Imran Khan was adhering to his vision of austerity.

Under “Prime Minister’s Estate Garden Establishment”, a reduction of around Rs. 10 million was done.

However, the slight increase recorded in the Employees Related Expenses – the expenses that comprised of pay and allowances of officials and staff working at PM Office – was an outcome of annual increments, which was a basic right of government employees, the sources mentioned.

The above-mentioned data repudiated the incorrect data, quoted on a talk-show, the sources added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had kept his words by reducing expenditures of his office so that a minimum burden may be placed on exchequer.

“This action of Prime Minister Imran Khan sets an example for all others political leaders to reduce unnecessary expenditures while not compromising on their performance,” the sources remarked.