MAPUTO, The Mozambican government has announced new measures to cut government spending in a bid to save about 120 million US dollars from the 2018 State Budget.

The decision was announced by Minister of Finance Adriano Maleiane at a weekly Council of Ministers (Cabinet) meeting here Tuesday, saying the government would standardize the procurement procedure and set limits on its officials’ spending on housing, transportation and communication.

The new austerity measures aim to reduce a variety of perks for officials at all levels of government to alleviate the financial burden on the State Budget.

According to Maleiane, in addition to the limits on the cost of vehicles and house leases for civil servants, the measures also include rationalization of special bonuses as well as subsidies for fuel and communication. The new limits on the subsidies for fuel and communication are expected to save more than four million US dollars.

“We think that in this way we will discipline better; we are going to the market to get the car that is suitable for our capabilities and that the society accepts as being reasonable to be used,” said the Minister.

The government decided that all senior personnel on State payroll will only be allotted 1.3-litre to 1.5-litre engine capacity cars. There will be no more purchasing of luxury vehicles such as Mercedes-Benz.

Since October, the Mozambican government has been criticized over the acquisition of 45 luxury cars for Members of Parliament at a time of financial crisis.

According to local media, the budget that the government plans for the purchase of school desks represents less than half the total cost of the 45 cars.