ISLMABAD    -   The government has imposed a ban on the creation of new posts and purchase of all types of vehicles during the current fiscal year (FY) 2019-2020 as part of its austerity plan.

The Ministry of Finance on Friday unveiled the austerity measures to be taken during the ongoing financial year.

The financial constraints have prompted the government to introduce the measures with immediate effect, reads the notification issued in this regard.

According to the notification, there will be a complete ban on the purchase of all types of vehicles (excluding motorcycles).

Furthermore, there will be no creation of new posts except those required for the development projects and approved by the competent authority.

Under the plan, the senior officers would be entitled to only one periodical, magazine or newspaper.

Furthermore, Principal Accounting Officers (PAOs) would ensure rationalized consumption of electricity, gas, water and other utilities.

The notification further reads that government officials would use two sides of a paper during communication with each other.

According to the notification, a competent authority in a certain ministry or division will constitute an Austerity Committee in order to meet a situation where it becomes necessary to hire a person or purchase a vehicle.

The committee will comprise of additional secretary finance (expenditures) as chairman, while other members will include senior joint secretary/joint secretary (expenditures), senior joint secretary/joint secretary (expenditures of the concerned ministry), CF&AO of the concerned ministry or division.

The Ministry of Finance has directed all the ministries and divisions to disseminate the information among all departments under their administrative control for strict compliance.

Earlier, the government had also announced an austerity plan in the budget for the current fiscal year to reduce the soaring expenditures.

According to the plan, the defence budget would remain unchanged at Rs1,152 billion. Although the government wants to slash the rising expenditures under the austerity plan for the FY 2019-2020 as unveiled by the Ministry of Finance on Friday.

However, the independent economists are of the view that this plan would fail to deliver. They argue that the plan would help in saving only few billions of rupees.

The PTI-led government had presented its first budget ever for the current fiscal year in June 2019, with highest-ever deficit of Rs3.15 trillion (7.2 percent of the GDP).

The government had allocated Rs2.89 trillion for interest payment, Rs421 billion for paying pensions, Rs1.15 trillion for defence, Rs271.5 billion for paying subsidies, Rs431.2 for running civil government, Rs831.2 billion for grants and transfers and further Rs79 billion for the payment of salaries.

Meanwhile, the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) would consume Rs701 billion.

The current austerity plan would not help control the whopping expenditures, according to the economists.