ISLAMABAD: The government has increased the daily allowance of parliamentarians by 71% in a bid to match it with that given to civil servants in the country.
The higher daily allowance will be enjoyed by all members of parliament including chairperson, deputy chairperson, speaker, deputy speaker, parliamentary secretaries and chairmen of standing committees.
Parliamentarians are given two types of allowances, one at the ordinary rate and the other at special rate. With the increase, these two types of daily allowance have now become equal to that given to civil servants of BS-22 grade.
The allowance was jacked up after the Parliamentary Affairs Division gave a proposal in that regard and presented a summary to the cabinet for its consideration in a meeting held on February 20.
A senior official of the Parliamentary Affairs Division told The Express Tribune that during the cabinet meeting it was pointed out that salaries and allowances of the members of parliament were governed by the Members of Parliament (Salaries and Allowances) Act 1974.
Section 14b of the Act provides that “salaries, allowances and privileges of members shall automatically be increased by the federal government by a notification in the official gazette in proportion to the increase in emoluments of civil servants.”
A similar provision for enhancing salaries and allowances of chairman, deputy chairman, speaker and deputy speaker also exists in the law.
The Parliamentary Affairs Division told the cabinet that the Finance Division had on July 3, 2017 enhanced the daily allowance of civil servants from BS-1 to BS-22 grades. However, the allowance for the members of parliament was not revised.
The Parliamentary Affairs Division proposed that the daily allowance of parliamentarians may also be enhanced in line with the increase given to civil servants by the Finance Division.
Accordingly, the ordinary and special daily allowance would be increased from Rs1,750 to Rs3,000 and from Rs2,800 to Rs4,800 respectively, which is equal to the allowance offered to grade-22 officers of the federal government.
The cabinet was told that the Finance Division on January 19, 2018 had also given its consent for the proposed hike in the daily allowance of parliament members.
After hearing the arguments, the cabinet approved the proposal for increase in the ordinary and special daily allowance of the parliamentarians.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2018.