‘PM Office expenses reduced by 32pc’

  • Finance ministry says PM Office slashed 35pc human resource and massively reduced expenditure on refreshments, fuels and procurement of equipment

ISLAMABAD: Owing to the ongoing austerity drive and with a view to set an example from the top, the Prime Minister Office has successfully managed to squeeze its expenditures up to Rs675 million as against the budgetary allocation of Rs986 million for the financial year 2018-19.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance to make certain clarifications about the budget and expenditure figures for the Prime Minister Office, the expenditures of the PM Office reduced by 32pc, which was unprecedented.

“The expenditure of PM Office (public) has been curtailed from Rs514 million (budgeted) to Rs305 million (actual till end June), thereby reflecting the saving of 41pc,” the statement read. “Similarly, PM Office (internal) brought down its expenditures up to Rs370 million, against the budgetary allocation of Rs472 million, which reflects the expenditure squeeze of 22pc.”

The ministry stated that in order to achieve the goal of expenditure rationalization and austerity, the PM Office slashed 35pc human resource and massively reduced expenditure on refreshments, fuels and procurement of equipment, besides adopting a basic economical non-lavish style of official working.

“The budgetary allocation for the PM Office, including public as well as internal, for the next financial year 2019-20 is Rs862.9 million, which is again 12pc less than the budgetary allocation for FY2018-19,” it said. “In spite of rising inflation, increase in salaries and demand for replacements of physical assets and refurbishment, the budgetary allocations for PM Office have been kept to bare minimum levels, to set an example for other federal ministries, divisions and departments.”

For further clarity, the ministry informed that the printed budget for PM Office has been reflected in the Volume-I of Federal Budget 2019-20 (Current Expenditure) and the relevant pages are 302-310.

It further stated that the electronic media has been flashing page 302 of this book, which reflects the PM Office budget worth Rs1,172 million for the financial year 2019-20, against the existing budgetary allocation of Rs986 million for FY 2018-19.

“As elaborated, the PM Office budget of Rs1,172 million also includes the budgetary allocations Rs309 million for National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).”

As per the statement, NDMA, although autonomous with its own budget line, has been parked under the PM Office.

“Previously, it was under the Ministry of Climate Change. Hence, the budget of NDMA must not be and should not be confused with the distinct budget items of the PM Office.

“For the purpose of budget preparation, revised budget estimates comprise of 8 months actual expenditure plus 4 months anticipated expenditures. The budget book page No. 302 reflects the revised estimate of Rs820 million against the budget of Rs986 million for the PM Office.”

However, the ministry stated, the PM Office went through further belt-tightening and has successfully been able to close the financial year at an actual expenditure of approximately Rs675 million, which was 18pc lesser than the revised expenditure estimates.

“The budgetary allocation for PM Office for the next financial year is approximately Rs863 million, which is 12pc lesser than the budget allocation for FY19.

This existing spending level of the PM Office (Rs675 million) is actually touching the expenditure levels in FY2014-15, which speaks volumes about the austerity drive in the PM Office.”

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