Alvi the austere: President Secretariat saves Rs224m in nine months





An amount of Rs224 million has been saved by the President Secretariat since the incumbent Government took over, as part of the drive to slash expenses by adopting austerity measures.

This has been done under the directions of President Dr Arif Alvi to reduce expenses without affecting the efficiency of operations and quality of service delivery, President spokesman claimed in a statement.

The projected expenditure for the financial year 2018-19 is 6.1per cent less against the allocated budget, as opposed to the previous financial years that consistently suffered budget deficits. Direct and Indirect Savings were made. In the context of Indirect Savings, now routine PAF maintenance flights transport the security staff of the President, instead of dedicated C-130. Likewise, President’s national and international travel through commercial flights and substantial reduction in visiting entourage has contributed towards a saving of Rs112.7 million. Moreover, Presidency has been opened for all Ministries to hold their mega events in Aiwan-e-Sadr instead of 5-Star hotels, which has saved the relevant ministries about Rs10.2 million. Similarly, inefficient and exorbitant energy usage is being also cut by conducting comprehensive energy audit.

Additionally, the travel entourage of the President has been reduced from 36 to 16 officers/officials, saving Rs.5.8 million. Lastly, Presidency is employing less people than are sanctioned and has thus saved about Rs38.4 million.

If the impact of these austerity measures are analyzed head wise, in Pays and Allowances, Rs. 38 million have been saved by not enrolling fresh intake against the vacant posts. Under Conveyance and Motor Cars, 10.1per cent budget has been surrendered, in addition to 20per cent of Telephone and Internet budget. In this regard, vintage vehicles have been processed for auction, which will cut their maintenance cost. Moreover, 5per cent of Utilities, 41.1per cent of Misc. Capital Assets, Printing & Stationary, Postage etc, and 80per cent of Discretionary Grants funds have been surrendered to the Government of Pakistan. In other words, austerity measures have been applied to all heads to utilize all possibilities of saving, spokesman concluded.