Newspaper facility withdrawn from CM’s Secretariat
Expenditures being cut as a part of an austerity drive ordered by the chief minister
LAHORE: The Chief MinisterÂ’s Secretariat has withdrawn the newspaper facility, entitled to officers posted in the secretariat, on Friday: as a step in the ongoing austerity drive in the public sector.
A notification circulated in the secretariat on Friday, said that the decision to withdraw the facility, given to the officers as a privilege, was taken by the chief minister till further orders in this regard.
This would help save Rs800,000 till June 2011, an official said.
Some officials said the facility should also be withdrawn from other officers and the political elite, in order to implement the austerity drive effectively.
They said that providing the same facility to other officers posted across the province would be a discrimination against the officers posted at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
Some officials suggested that news could be read online as they had been provided internet access and laptops.
Among the officers posted at the CM’s Secretariat, the deputy secretaries, additional secretaries and personal staff officers were entitled to get two newspapers, Urdu and English each, whereas the secretary was entitled to six newspapers, daily.
Earlier this year, the facility of refreshments and mineral water had also been withdrawn.
The electricity usage, unlimited in the past, was also rationed, after the secretariat set a limit equal to the basic pay scales of the officials.
The Punjab government allocated Rs266,419 million in the current financial year 2010-2011 to meet the current expenditures of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat working at 3,5,7,8 Club Road and at 90 The Mall.
Out of the total allocated funds, the Finance Department earmarked Rs8.4 million for purchase of stationary, newspapers, periodicals and publicity of the chief minister’s secretariat during 2010-2011. Rs1.1 million of this amount was reserved for newspapers and periodicals alone, and Rs13 million for entertainment and refreshment of the officers and officials posted in the secretariat.
As many as 932 officials are currently employed at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, including 95 officers falling in BS-17 to BS-21.
Source: The Express Tribune