PM Imran Khan is ‘extremely disappointed’ with Punjab MPAs for raising their salaries

March 14, 2019

Photo: Courtesy PM House

One of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s key policies has been austerity, so it isn’t surprising that he isn’t pleased with MPAs taking a pay raise.

The premier took to Twitter on Thursday to express his disappointment at the Punjab Assembly’s decision to raise the salaries and perks of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, the Punjab cabinet and MPAs.

He said the increase could only be justified once prosperity returns to Pakistan.

On Wednesday, the Punjab Assembly passed a bill to increase the financial perks and privileges of public representatives in the province.

Related: The FBR has obtained details of 150,000 foreign accounts owned by Pakistanis

The bill was passed within five minutes with a complete consensus, raising salaries and fringe benefits of all assembly members. As per the bill, the monthly salary of members, including perks and allowances, was raised from Rs83,000 to Rs210,000.

MPAs’ basic salaries were raised from Rs18,000 to Rs80,000 per month, their daily allowance from Rs1,000 to Rs4,000 per month and house rent from Rs29,000 to Rs50,000 per month.

The bill has fixed the utility allowance at Rs20,000 per month (it was previously Rs6,000) and raised hospitality allowance to Rs20,000 from Rs10,000. The Punjab chief minister will now be receiving a monthly package of over Rs350,000.

Punjab is controlled by the PTI so the majority of lawmakers in the assembly are from the premier’s party.

Fawad Chaudhry backtracks

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry backtracked on his earlier praise for the decision in a Tweet on Thursday and said it “seems the Punjab government and CM House are in the dark about the PM and the federal government’s austerity policies otherwise such sham exercise of awarding huge benefits to themselves would not have happened.”

Related: Fawad Chaudhry thought Punjab MPAs raising their salaries was a good idea on Wednesday

Until Wednesday, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry thought Punjab MPAs raising their salaries was a good idea. He had said MPAs were paid very little and if their salaries were not raised, the middle-class would not contest elections.

Reactions 

Newly appointed Punjab Information Minister Samsam Bukhari distanced himself from the assembly’s decision and said he was one of the members who opposed the bill’s passing.

Related: Here’s what Punjab MPAs have to say about their salary increase

Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari said he doesn’t see anything wrong with raising MPAs’ salaries. How can we manage on lower salaries when inflation is rising, he asked.

The dollar price has also risen, he said, adding that there is nothing wrong with raising salaries.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar says that before signing the bill, he will get PM Khan’s approval. Bills that are approved by the assembly have to get the governor’s approval. If he refuses to approve it, the bill will go back to the assembly. If it is passed again, the governor has to sign it.

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4 Comments

  1. imtiaz khan   March 14, 2019 2:16 pm/ Reply

    the tweet will not be effective in this matter please take action and instruct the CM to stop such raise in salaries and set the example

  2. Zack   March 14, 2019 7:57 pm/ Reply

    Seems like he is still on the container. What a disappointment.

  3. Disoppointed   March 14, 2019 11:01 pm/ Reply

    Shame on punjab assembly n PTI gov. N exactly tweetting is just not enough.how come is it possible that prime minister is unaware of this move beforehand? Very bad

  4. Azhar   March 15, 2019 8:43 am/ Reply

    To raise their salaries and allowances manifold at a time when Pakistan is facing it’s worst financial and economic crisis is a slap in the face of the people of Pakistan and the austerity drive of the government especially Imran Khan. If Imran Khan leaves it just to a tweet and doesn’t act to stop this insult, he will be considered an accomplice.


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