In the wake of the recent petrol price hikes the federal government, as well as the provincial governments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have reduced their petrol consumption and fuel quotas while a campaign demanding the judiciary, armed forces and the bureaucracy to do the same has begun on social media.
Since then, people on social media have been demanding that the free petrol allowances given to most governmental officials, judiciary members, army officers and bureaucrats should be reduced, or abolished entirely.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced on Monday that the fuel quota of ministers and government officials in the Sindh Assembly would be cut by 40%.
“The rise in petrol price should not be a burden on the exchequer,” Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah said, adding burdening the treasury means increasing the burden on the people.
Following suit, Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan also issued a statement declaring that petrol consumption in governmental institutes in the province would be reduced by 35%, adding that this was being done to reduce the burden on people and the treasury.
It has been reported that the federal government is also taking similar austerity measures and reducing fuel allowances, leaving only the Punjab government to follow suit.
Responding to the developments on social media, citizens have expressed the view that instead of burdening the masses with price hikes, the government should instead curb the privilege afforded to the judiciary, bureaucracy and the armed forces.
Even prominent political leaders are agreeing with the calls for strict austerity measures. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar suggested paycuts for politicians, generals, judges and bureaucrats.
Provincial Minister of Punjab Ali Haider Gillani also showed support for the suggestion to suspend fuel allowances for top governmental officials. The Punjab government has yet to announce fuel cuts for its employees.