Why has Pakistan banned red carpets at official govt events?

The Cabinet announced the decision following PM Sharif's orders

Pakistan red carpet ban Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif | Reuters

The use of red carpets at official government events has been banned in Pakistan. The Cabinet Division imposed a ban following the orders of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. 

The decision was taken as part of cutting down unnecessary expenditures in the debt-ridden country. From now on the red carpets will be reserved exclusively for diplomatic receptions. Earlier, red carpets were used even during the visits of federal ministers and senior authorities at government functions. 

According to the Cabinet Division, the prime minister has instructed that the red carpet will not be used for federal ministers and government figures at official events in the future.

However, it could be used as a protocol only for foreign diplomats, reported The Express Tribune newspaper. 

By eliminating the use of red carpets, the government aims to save funds and promote a more responsible and prudent approach to public finances. 

In further efforts to improve the financial status, PM Sharif and members of the Cabinet decided to voluntarily forego their salaries and perks as part of the government's efforts to promote austerity.

Last month, Sharif stated that austerity measures were the government's top priority.

Earlier, President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari decided against taking salary and perks, owing to economic challenges being faced by the country.

Sharif on Tuesday said his government is planning to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for another programme, days after the country struck a staff-level agreement with the global lender regarding the disbursal of the final tranche of USD 1.1 billion. 

Amid severe economic challenges, Sharif took oath as Pakistan PM for a second time earlier this month. 

(With PTI inputs)


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