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Perks for ministers scrapped as PM Shehbaz announces austerity measures

Government decides to make Toshakhan record public

06:37 PM | 22 Feb, 2023
Perks for ministers scrapped as PM Shehbaz announces austerity measures
Source: A screengrab of Twitter video

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday announced multiple austerity measures, mainly aim at his cabinet members and government officers, in order to cut burden on the national kitty amid ongoing economic crisis.

Addressing a press conference alongside members of the federal cabinet in the federal cabinet, the premier said that ministers, state ministers and special advisers to the premier would to receive salaries and perks. He said that all ministers would now pay their utility bills from their own pocket.

Saying a ban has been imposed on use of luxury vehicles for cabinet members, he said the vehicles would be revoked and will be auctioned. He said, “Where needed, ministers will be provided only one car for security.”

He further said that federal ministers would also travel in economy class when undertaking domestic and international tours, adding that their support staff would no longer be allowed to go on state visits. He said there would be a ban on the ministers to say in five-star hotels during foreign trips.

All the measures will be implemented immediately, he said, adding that the current expenditure of ministries, departments and sub-departments would be cut by 15%.

He also imposed a ban on buying all luxury items until June 2024, adding that one-dish policy will be adopted for government functions. However, the foreign guests will be exempted from this policy.  

He said a committee will also be formed to decide about selling the state-owe land, adding that video conferencing will be used for meetings.

At the outset of his presser, the prime minister said that the government had passed the mini-budget under which new taxes were being imposed on big corporations so that the common man could be protected from inflation to some extent. However, he confirmed that the IMF deal will further trigger inflation in the country.

He also announced to make the record of the Toshakhana case public, adding that a new policy will be made to acquire the gifts given by the foreign dignitaries to the Pakistani officials. He said the third party would decide the value of the gifts. 

The premier also took aim at President Arif Alvi for announced a date for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, calling it an unconstitutional move. He also announced to write a letter to the president to condemn his action. 

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pakistani rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 17 April 2024

Pakistani currency saw minor adjustment against global currencies on April 17, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293.15 for buying and 296.1 for selling while British Pound stands at 344.25 for buying, and 347.6 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.4 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 17 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293.15 296.1
UK Pound Sterling GBP 344.25 347.6
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45 76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.26 911.26
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.24 58.84
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.75 166.75
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.37 77.07
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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