In meeting with PM Imran, CM Buzdar defends pay raise for Punjab MPAs

Punjab CM complains about interference of PTI leaders in administrative affairs


Rizwan Ghilzai March 18, 2019
Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar calls on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM Office Islamabad on March 18, 2019. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Monday told Prime Minister Imran Khan that he had relinquished the lifelong perks and raise in salary proposed in a provincial bill but a raise in the provincial assembly lawmakers’ salaries was necessary.

Buzdar said this in a special meeting called at the PM House to discuss the Punjab Public Representatives’ Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019 that was passed by the provincial assembly last Tuesday.

The bill proposed by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Ghazanfar Abbas and approved with one voice by both the treasury and opposition benches proposed phenomenal raise in the lawmakers’ salaries and other perks.

The prime minister, while expressing extreme disappointment over the move, had asked the Punjab governor not to sign the bill. In his Twitter message, Imran Khan had said, “Measures like these would be justified if the country sees development.”

In Monday’s meeting Imran Khan reiterated his disapproval of the bill.

According to sources, Buzdar told the PM that increase in the MPAs’ salaries was indispensable. However, he assured Khan, the decision would be reviewed. “Salaries should be increased while keeping in mind the austerity drive of the government,” sources quoted the PM as saying.

The chief minister reportedly complained about interference by some PTI leaders in various administrative affairs, saying the provincial government was facing problems due to such interruptions.

The PM advised the CM to handle the affairs with consultation and ensure implementation of the PTI manifesto while keeping all administrative affairs in his own hands. The meeting also discussed performance of the provincial cabinet.

They also reviewed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) demands pertaining to medical treatment of former premier Nawaz Sharif, who is currently incarcerated at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.

The CM said the provincial government is in continuous contact with the Sharif family and the jail administration. “We have offered all possible support for better medical treatment of the former prime minister,” the CM told the premier.

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