The austerity monitoring committee has presented a proposal, seeking the withdrawal of official vehicles from parliamentary committee chairmen, including the Public Accounts Committee and standing committees.
The forum also sought the cabinet’s onboarding with the austerity measures. It also suggested eliminating standing committee chairman expenses. The committees discussed various other cost-cutting measures that may aid in replenishing the economy.
After careful consideration, the prime minister was asked to approve the recommendations.
Defiance of Austerity Scheme
Earlier this month, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) proposed to buy 155 luxury vehicles worth over Rs. 1.6 billion to “facilitate taxpayers” and get access to a foreign loan, despite the ongoing economic crunch.
Citing an official document, a report from the Express Tribune highlights that an estimated Rs. 1.63 billion for the purchase of vehicles is equal to 8.6% of the funds that the FBR had secured to upgrade its obsolete IT equipment.
The document revealed FBR’s plan to purchase 155 vehicles ranging in engine capacity from 1,500cc to 3,000cc — engine capacity that the FBR has described as “luxury” and subject to heavy taxation. The documents don’t specify the make of the vehicles.
The public did not react kindly to this news, prompting a massive outrage. Fortunately, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif noticed the development and prohibited the FBR from buying luxury vehicles.