ISLAMABAD: The joy of members of the Punjab Assembly over their decision to increase their salaries proved short-lived as Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday stopped Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar from signing the bill into law.
In a rare show of solidarity on Tuesday, the treasury and opposition members in the Punjab Assembly joined hands to pass the Punjab Public Representatives’ Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019 tabled by PTI’s Ghazanfar Abbas.
The bill seeks an increase in the monthly salary of the speaker from the existing Rs37,000 to Rs200,000, of the deputy speaker from Rs35,000 to Rs185,000, of the chief minister from Rs39,000 to Rs300,000, of the ministers from Rs35,000 to Rs185,000, of the parliamentary secretaries from Rs20,000 to Rs83,000, of the special assistants form Rs35,000 to Rs185,000, of advisers from Rs30,000 to Rs185,000, and of MPAs from Rs18,000 to Rs80,000.
The bill also seeks an increase in the amounts of their utility bills, sumptuary allowances, etc. It seeks the upward revision of the annual travelling allowance of the parliamentary secretaries from the existing Rs120,000 to Rs200,000.
The prime minister, while expressing extreme disappointment over the move asked the Punjab governor not to sign the bill.
In his tweeter message, the prime minister said, “Measures like these would be justified if the country sees development.”
“At a time when we do not have resources to provide even basic facilities to the general public, step like this is inappropriate and not justified in any sense,” he added.
Such decisions cannot be defended on any ground, he said.
According to Express News, the prime minister directed the Punjab governor not to sign the summary.
In addition, the prime minister directed Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to refer the bill back to the assembly for discussion.
The prime minister added that lifetime emoluments approved for the chief minister also needed a review. “Giving lifetime accommodation to the chief minister is not an appropriate decision.”
The prime minister recommended that duration for the chief minister’s emoluments should be cut to three months instead.
Meanwhile, the Punjab governor said that he will not approve the summary without obtaining permission from the prime minister first.
As per the Constitution, the governor can return the bill for review by the assembly within ten days. However, the governor will be liable to sign the bill if it is returned by the assembly. If the governor does not sign the bill within 10 days, it will be deemed approved.
Also, as a result of Punjab Assembly unanimously passing a bill to increase salaries of its lawmakers, the province’s chief minister’s salary has now surpassed that of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Express News reported.
The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill seeking increment in the salaries and compensation of the members of the assembly.
According to the salary slip, PM Imran’s disposable income amounts to approximately Rs0.19m while his basic salary stands at Rs0.10m. He receives Rs21,456 as ad hoc relief allowance; the guest allowance is Rs50,000 while the ad hoc relief is Rs12,110. Rs4,595 in lieu of tax are deducted from his salary.
On the other hand, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s income amounts Rs0.35 million, while members of Punjab Assembly earn up to Rs0.2m.
CM Punjab’s salary was increased by Rs59,000 to Rs0.35 million, while the salary of the assembly members was increased by Rs45,000 to approximately Rs0.2 million.