Senate turns down bill proposing increase in legislators’ salaries | Pakistan


Senate on Feb.3, 2019 scrapped a bill seeking a hike in lawmakers’ salary, with majority voting against. — Photo: Files

Majority senators including those from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday rejected a bill seeking to increase salaries of lawmakers. 

PTI’s Senator Faisal Javed, PPP’s Sherry Rehman and PML-N’s Raja Zafar-ul-Haq rejected the bill. However, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Barrister Saif voiced his support for the bill.

Earlier, the PTI and PPP maintained that they would oppose the bill in the parliament. Javed said that senators from his party will oppose the bill as Prime Minister Imran Khan had instructed them to not spend extravagantly from the national kitty.

Meanwhile, PPP’s parliamentary leader in the Senate, Rehman had also announced her party’s decision to oppose the bill.

“We will not support the bill on the salary increase for parliamentarians,” Rehman tweeted on Saturday.

The PPP leader said that it was a time of “great economic crisis” for the country and it was not the right time for lawmakers “to start matching their salaries with the region and others.”

“Public money needs to be spent on public relief right now,” said Rehman.

How much would lawmakers make if bill were passed?

A copy of the bill, which the Senate Secretariat has already referred to the ministries of parliamentary affairs and finance for their input, seeks amendment to Chairman and Speaker (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act 1975 to increase the existing salary of Senate chairman and NA speaker from Rs250,000 to 870,000, which is equivalent to basic pay of a judge of the Supreme Court.

The bill also recommends an amendment to the Deputy Chairman and Deputy Speaker (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act 1975 to increase the salary of the Senate Deputy Chairman and NA Deputy Speaker from existing Rs185,000 to Rs829,000, which is equivalent to basic pay of the judge of the Islamabad High Court.

The draft bill also recommends an amendment to the Members of Parliament (Salaries and Allowances) Act 1974 to increase the salaries of Senators and MNAs from the existing Rs150,000 to Rs300,000.

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