‘Federal ministries’ budgets frozen in austerity measure’

ISLAMABAD: The government is undertaking a review of expenditures and the budgets of all federal ministries have been frozen as an austerity measure, Federal Minister for Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Friday.Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, he said, “After having reviewed the expenditures, we will lay all details of the expenses before the opposition and then ask them to let us know where budget cuts can be made”.Shaikh said the bills approved by Senate would be sent to the National Assembly, as that will pave the way for long-awaited tax reforms in the country. He also said that recommendations given by Senate would be made part of the legislation and no new tax on medicines, food items and education related stationary would be imposed.The finance minister also hailed the role of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Senator Ishaq Dar in making the recommendations. Earlier, Law Minister Babar Awan said that tax reforms were necessary for getting rid of loans forever. He alleged that the opposition parties had rejected the recommendations, which they themselves had given.“It happened for the first time in Pakistan that the opposition rejected what they had said before, and today their duality in character stands exposed – Pakistantoday