Govt bans refreshments in official meetings


ISLAMABAD: The federal government has completely banned refreshments in the official meetings from February 2019.

According to officials, the finance ministry has issued office memorandum to all ministries or divisions pertaining to the ban on refreshments in meetings in order to further narrow down the government expenditures.

There will be a complete ban on refreshment in meeting from the February 1, officials said and added that all the ministries or divisions’ funds pertaining to entertainment allowances have also been withdrawn. No money will be given to ministries in entertainment allowances from next month, officials further said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had given instructions to ministries to curtail the current expenditures and secretary finance had also given the briefing to the cabinet in last month.

Every ministry has entertainment allowance through which they served tea, biscuits and water to participants in meetings. It is pertinent to mention here that finance ministry had also issued office memorandum on December 3, 2018, to cut down the current expenditures up to 10 per cent in the name of austerity measures for the financial year 2018-19 and it had established a four-member committee which was asked to give recommendations on this matter.

In that office memorandum, the finance ministry had banned the purchase of vehicles for both, the current as well as development expenditure, except operational vehicles of law enforcement agencies for which no objection certificate (NOC) from finance division would be required. In addition to this, the government had also banned the creation of new posts as well as the entitlement of periodical magazine, newspapers for officers.