Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the country’s financial situation required exercising austerity at all levels and stressed setting an example from the top.He expressed these views during a briefing on Punjab Annual Budget 2019-20, held at the PM’s Office. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, finance secretary, Punjab chief secretary, State Bank of Pakistan governor, FBR chairman and senior officials attended the briefing.The prime minister was informed that Punjab’s budget was in line with the manifesto of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that stressed human development and regional equalisation, with greater allocation for social sector, agriculture and industry. It was informed that special emphasis was laid on promotion of public-private partnership in developmental projects. The prime minister chairing a separate meeting in which he was informed about the salient features of the upcoming annual budget of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Speaking on the occasion, Imran said austerity-oriented steps should commence from the high authorities, so that precedents could be set for the general public.The prime minister advised the provincial government that in view of the financial situation, maximum austerity measures should be adopted. However, he said, such a drive should not affect the development phase in the merged erstwhile tribal areas of the province. The meeting was attended among others by KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra and senior minister Atif Khan.The prime minister was briefed on the priorities set in different sectors in the upcoming budget, including health, education, water, communications, tourism, environment, agriculture, urban development, information and industries sectors.He was informed that high priority was also given to the development and progress of the merged tribal areas. The meeting was informed that special attention was being paid in the budget for generation of provincial financial resources.The prime minister appreciated the budget proposals aimed at slashing of expenditures by the federal government offices, including the PM’s Office. He observed that savings achieved under these measures would be spent on the development and progress of backward areas of the country.