Cash-Strapped Pak Bans Red Carpets At Official Events To Cut Costs

A ban has been imposed on the use of red carpet on Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif’s directives

Islamabad:

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has banned the use of red carpets at government events, reserving them exclusively for diplomatic receptions, as part of austerity measures to cut down unnecessary expenditures in the cash-strapped nation.

Sharif expressed annoyance over the use of red carpets during the visits of federal ministers and senior authorities at government functions.

According to the Cabinet Division, a ban has been imposed on the use of red carpet on the prime minister’s directives.

According to a notification issued by the Cabinet division, the prime minister has instructed that the red carpet will not be used for federal ministers and government figures at official events in the future. However, it could be used as a protocol only for foreign diplomats, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

The decision to ban red carpets is more than just a symbolic gesture. It represents a tangible effort to curb unnecessary expenditures and redirect resources to more critical areas of governance.

By eliminating the use of red carpets, the government aims to save funds and promote a more responsible and prudent approach to public finances.

Last week, Prime Minister Sharif and members of the Cabinet decided to voluntarily forego their salaries and perks as part of the government’s efforts to promote austerity.

Last month, the prime minister stated that austerity measures were the government’s top priority.

Earlier, President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari decided against taking salary and perks, owing to economic challenges being faced by the country.

Sharif earlier this month took oath as the prime minister for a second time since 2022 amidst staggering economic and security challenges.

Sharif on Tuesday said his government is planning to approach the International Monetary Fund for “another programme”, days after the country struck a staff-level agreement with the global lender regarding the disbursal of the final tranche of USD 1.1 billion. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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