PM Shehbaz says ruling class has to make sacrifices for austerity

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday urged the ruling class including federal ministers, advisors and bureaucrats to practice austerity with a view to manifest the government’s sincere efforts to address the pervading challenges.

“As the whole nation goes through an ordeal of imported inflation, IMF conditionality or the negligence of the previous government, we have to show to the people which was need of the hour. That is austerity, simplicity and passion to sacrifice,” the prime minister told the cabinet members while chairing the meeting of the federal cabinet.

In his televised remarks at the cabinet meeting with austerity measures on agenda, the prime minister said since the creation of Pakistan 75 years ago, it was the poor who always suffered, starting from the wars of 1965 or 1971, 1953 and 2005 earthquakes or the floods of 2010 and 2022.

He said the poor people faced inflation and had to suffer the hardships of feeding their family members.

Prime Minister Shehbaz said that the elite class also contributed to supporting the poor during the tough times but everyone did not fulfill their responsibility.

He told the cabinet members that the IMF program was also reaching finality with a couple of items remaining.

“Today, we have to learn the lesson from the past and move ahead. The nation looks at the coalition government which stood united and made the decisions to put the country on the track of economic development. This is not an easy task as it was going through difficult challenges,” he remarked.

Calling for showing “leadership by personal example”, the prime minister urged the ministers, advisor, special assistants and bureaucrats and government officials to practice austerity first and then expect the same from the elite and resourceful class.

He appealed to the cabinet members to “stand up and accept the challenge” to let the nation, as well as the world, know that the Pakistani nation was very strong and that the government would take all possible steps without any confusion.

“This message must be conveyed today before we get back to our offices and homes. The whole world should know that the government is setting an example. The government has tried with sincerity to address the challenge,” the prime minister commented.

He said though the government’s austerity initiative would not reduce the burden of inflation on the poor, it would lessen the anguish and give them a feeling that the government, politicians, and bureaucracy was with them from the core of their heart.