Even though Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced several austerity measures amid the country ongoing economic crisis, more than half of the luxury vehicles given to cabinet members and other officials had not been returned yet, it has been reported.
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Many senior officials are still using SUVs and sedan cars despite the announcement of an austerity drive in February, a report by Dawn news claimed. “The policy has not impressed the senior judiciary and parliamentary forums,” a meeting of the monitoring committee on the implementation of austerity measures said, the report noted.
Quoting sources, the outlet reported, “The meeting was presided over by Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. In a compliance report, it was told that out of 30 luxury vehicles, 14 had been returned by cabinet members, but 16 are still in use.”
The cabinet division was directed following the meeting to get back the luxury cars within three days. Withdrawal of use of security vehicles was also deliberated, Dawn reported.
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Under the austerity measures, all federal ministers and government offices in Pakistan were directed to reduce expenditure by 15% and forgo salaries, allowances, luxury cars, foreign trips, and business class travel.
The measures came as Pakistan’s economy struggles while waiting for a much-needed USD 1.1 billion tranche of funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).