Prime Minister Imran Khan has given the nod to the preparation of a law for cutting down his own and the president’s perks and privileges.
The premier has directed his Dr Babar Awan, his adviser on parliamentary affairs, to work on the draft of the bill and table it in parliament.
According to Awan, the bill will be introduced in the National Assembly soon.
In the past, additional residences of rulers in other cities were given the status of camp offices. The bill will amend the law to strike out the clause that made this possible.
In the budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021, the budget allocated for the PM’s Office and the Presidency was reduced as part of the government’s austerity measures.
The operating expenses of Prime Minister Office in the previous fiscal year stood at Rs.212.49 million and were reduced to Rs.127.89 million for 2020-21.
The expenses of the PM’s House under various head including those related was also cut down to Rs.686.84million against Rs.752.81million incurred in the last fiscal year. The approved budget of pay and allowances of the PM’s Office for 2019-20 stood at Rs879.43 million.
The prime minister’s total budget in this fiscal year including “internal and public” expenditures is Rs.863.00 million, down from Rs1.04 billion in the previous year.
The Presidency’s budget for 2020-21 was decreased by 60% in the current fiscal year to Rs597 million from Rs.992 million in 2019-2020.
The funds allocated for the regular and other allowances of staff and officers posted at the president’s secretariat were Rs193.22 million in this fiscal year, in comparison with Rs458.74 million in the previous year.
The operating expenditures of the Presidency were reduced to Rs53.38 million against Rs180.44 million in 2019-20.
An amount of Rs3.86 million was reserved for the Presidency’s repair and maintenance in the ongoing fiscal in comparison with Rs21.09 million in the previous fiscal year.
President Arif Alvi is apparently not drawing any salary, which was Rs10.75 million in 2019-20, as there is no mention of this head in the budget book along with other expenditures including Rs15.65 million for his tour expenses and Rs63.37 million as miscellaneous spending.
However, the opposition had disputed the government’s austerity claims. Speaking in the National Assembly in June this year, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah said the PTI government spent much more on the PM House and secretariat than what was mention in the documents.