Islamabad, Aug 25: In a fresh austerity measure imposed by the newly elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, first-class air travel will not be provided to Pakistani officials, including the President and Prime Minister.
At the Cabinet meeting held on Saturday, PM Imran Khan approved the decision as part of his government's drive to cut down additional costs.
"It has been decided that all the top government officials, including the president, prime minister, chief justice, senate chairman, speaker national assembly and the chief ministers will travel in club/business," said Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry following the Cabinet meet.
On being asked whether the Army chief would also be barred from using first-class air travel, Chaudhry said he was never granted the privilege. For official commutation, the military head has to travel in business class.
For foreign visits, Chaudhry added, Imran Khan would not be using special planes.
The measures, he claimed, would save the exchequer to the tune of $51 billion -- which was being spent by the erstwhile Nawaz Sharif-led government as discretionary funds.
The fiscal disciplining move comes in the backdrop of Imran Khan announcing that he would not be shifting to the lavish residence assigned to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The bungalow spread over multiple acres would instead be converted into a hospital or an educational institution.
Khan had also announced that he would forego the elaborate protocol which is accorded to the Pakistani PM. He would be using only two vehicles and keeping only two servants, while residing at the portion used for accomodation by the military secretary to the Prime Minister.