Cash-Strapped Pak PM Sharif & Cabinet Ministers To Forgo Salaries | World News

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his Cabinet on Wednesday unanimously decided to forego their salaries and related benefits due to the precarious economic condition of the country.

The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting as part of the government’s austerity policies, aimed at curbing unnecessary expenditures, according to a press release by the PM Office.

The Cabinet has already introduced measures restricting foreign trips funded by the government, ordering federal ministers, parliamentarians, and government officials not to go on foreign trips by using government funds without prior approval.

The measures are focused on promoting fiscal responsibility and optimising governmental resources in the face of economic challenges, due to which the country needs a fresh loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Last week, President Asif Ali Zardari and Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi too had decided to forego their salaries while in office citing similar reasons.

Former president Arif Alvi was drawing Rs 8,46,550 per month, which was fixed by Parliament in 2018. Zardari is one of the richest politicians in Pakistan.When Sharif was the prime minister in his earlier term, a similar measure was announced in February 2023.

However, these measures are commonly considered cosmetic to show that the government was sharing the burden of the people badly hit by grinding inflation.

In reality, the president, the prime minister and most of the ministers belong to the privileged, rich class and are not dependent on their salaries.

Incidentally, earlier in the day, a statement from the IMF said that it has reached a staff-level agreement with cash-strapped Pakistan that will enable it to get the next tranche of USD 1.1 billion of the earlier sanctioned loan.

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