The Papua New Guinea government has begun cost-cutting measures in the public service by deferring leave and freezing recruitment and wage increases.
All probationary officers and casual workers are being removed from payrolls.
Managers are also under strict instruction to check staff against payrolls to identify and remove "ghost" workers.
A new system of pay deductions will ensure that those who take time off will be treated as unauthorised absentees.
Departments are expected to recoup substantial amounts by deducting wages for such unauthorised absences.
Recreational and furlogh leave have been cancelled for the next six months and normal leave will not be allowed until the second quarter of the year 2003.
These new leave arrangements do not apply to teachers and other academic staff.