KARACHI: A total of 11,855 candidates campaigned for the power of crafting legislations that can shape the country’s future - but only 849 made it to the finish line on July 25. Unlike popular myth, legislating does not equate welfare. The occupants of the august houses are state employees who get duly compensated for the period they choose to serve the nation. The Express Tribune decodes salaries and perks aspiring lawmakers will attain during their tenure.
Apart from a basic salary of Rs150,000, a member of the lower house of the Parliament is also entitled to Rs8,000 per month for office maintenance, free landline or cash compensation worth Rs10,000 with a sumptuary allowance of Rs5,000.
The allowances allotted to an MNA throughout an NA session or a standing committee meeting include daily allowance worth Rs3,000 (special) and Rs1,750 (ordinary) per day, Rs2,000 for conveyance and housing in the capital while a business class plane ticket with a Rs150 voucher or one seat in the air-conditioned compartment of a train and another in 2nd class compartment is provided by the federal government. If a member chooses to travel by road, they are compensated Rs10 per kilometer.
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Annual travel stipend includes Rs300,000 voucher or Rs90,000 in cash, 20 business class air tickets - which can be utilised by the lawmakers or their family members. For a parliamentarian, travelling in Pakistan International Airline and Pakistan Railways is free of cost.
Members of Parliament (salaries and allowances) Act, clause 13 entitles the speaker of the National Assembly and leader of the opposition to salaries and privileges of a federal minister under the Federal Ministers and Ministers of State (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act, 1975. Hence, the two leaders are admissible to a basic salary of Rs200,000 with one-time equipment allowance of Rs5,000 along with the expense incurred by the speaker or opposition leaders and their family members while moving to the capital - where the government provides official residence and Rs22,000 per month in utility bills. If the speaker or opposition leader does not take up official residence, they are compensated with a cheque of Rs103,125 per month.
National Assembly Speaker and Leader of the Opposition
When travelling on duty, the leaders can avail economy class air fare on domestic flights and business class tickets for international. They are also provided a free landline, an official car and granted access to Pakistan Air Force and provincial government’s helicopters. Additionally, personal staff, a secretary, provident fund and health and life insurance are all included in the package.
Chairpersons of standing committees are entitled to a further honorarium salary of Rs12,700 with additional telephone allowance worth Rs10,000 and Rs5,000 for office and home use beside a fully furnished office and a personal assistant.
Chairman of standing committees
The salaries, allowances and privileges for legislators vary as per Acts passed by the respective assembly.
In Sindh, a member of provincial assembly is given a basic salary of Rs24,000 with a sumptuous allowance worth Rs4,800, Rs16,000 in house rent and Rs4,800 in utility bills per month. Daily allowances stands at Rs859 and additional Rs640 for conveyance. When travelling on duty, the MPA will be compensated with Rs2,000 per day for accommodation and travel fare outlining a business class air ticket, amount equal to that of a train ticket and Rs20 per kilometer if travelling by road.
A Sindh Assembly member is also entitled to free travel expense for Rs120,000, telephone and office maintainence stands at Rs5,000 and Rs8,000 each.
Members of Sindh Assembly
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A legislator who gets elected to the Punjab Assembly receives a basic salary of Rs18,000 along with sumptuous allowance of Rs10,000. The house rent and utility bills stand at Rs29,000 and Rs6000 per month while daily allowances are at Rs1,000 and Rs600 for conveyance. Further, Rs1,500 is granted for accommodation when travelling on duty. The travel allowance for air and train are same as Sindh Assembly.
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The MPAs are entitled to free travel worth Rs117,000 per annum while telephone and office allowance stands at Rs10,000 each. Meanwhile life insurance is worth Rs500,000.
Members of Punjab Assembly
In contrast, a member of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly is entitled to basic salary of Rs80,000 per month and a sumptuous allowance of Rs4,800. The house rent stands at Rs30,000 while utility bills worth Rs,4800 are paid by the government. The daily and conveyance allowances are Rs100 and Rs640 respectively. For travelling, the legislator is given Rs1,600 per day for accommodation while free travel worth Rs120,000 per annum is specified. While train and by road allowances for K-P are same as Punjab’s, the MPA is restricted to a economy class air ticket. The telephone and office maintenance stipend is Rs10,000 each.
Members of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly