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An undated image of a cashier counting Rs500 notes. — AFP/File

The people grappling with unprecedented inflation amid the country’s consistently deteriorating balance of payments crisis — exacerbated by ongoing political uncertainty — were shocked when news reports suggested that the Ministry of Finance has instructed Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) to cease the clearing of bills, including salaries.

While several people started criticising the government for burdening the masses more than their capacity to bear the burden, others also tried reaching out to the officials for further clarification.

Addressing the speculations, the Ministry of Finance — in a clarification released in this regard — mentioned that there are rumours floating around that the government has instructed to stop payment of pay, pension, etc.

“This is completely false as no such instructions have been given by Finance Division, which is the concerned federal ministry,” the statement read.

The ministry further mentioned that the AGPR has confirmed that pay and pension have already been processed and will be paid on time. Meanwhile, other payments are being processed as per routine.

Earlier today, a news story published in The News stated that the Ministry of Finance has directed to halt the clearings of attached departments until further notice.

Official sources confirmed to The News on Friday night that the operational cost-related payments faced difficulties mainly due to the economic hardships of the country.

The publication contacted the Finance Division officials for a comment but it didn’t receive a response till the filing of the story. Meanwhile, the publication also contacted Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and said “this might be untrue but promised to get back after confirming it”  but the correspondent did not get any reply till the filing of the report by 1am on Saturday.

The sources also said that they went to the AGPR office for clearance of their outstanding bills but were informed that the Ministry of Finance had directed them to stop clearing all the bills, including the salaries.

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