Higher budget for Parliament Lodges sought

Public representatives put comfort first, seek more funds for personal residence

Amna Ali June 25, 2024


Lawmakers, putting the cart before the horse by prioritising their housing comforts over pressing public issues, have demanded an increased budget for the renovation of their accommodations.

Despite a significant increase in this year’s budget for the renovation of Parliament Lodges, lawmakers appear to remain unsatisfied as they call for even more funds.

The innocent wishes of Senate members came with complaints ranging from termite-infested dressing tables to requests for new cushions and curtains from the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

According to documents, the CDA requested a budget of Rs698.6 million for the renovation and decoration of Parliament Lodges. However, the federal government has allocated Rs3.692 billion for the purpose.

In the fiscal year 2020-21, Rs1.729 billion was allocated for renovation, which was increased by Rs30 million in the 2021-22 fiscal year. However, the budget was reduced by 5% in the 2022-23 fiscal year, allocating Rs1.605 billion.

Last fiscal year saw almost double the increase, with Rs3.192 billion allocated for the 2023-24 fiscal year.

For the current fiscal year 2024-25, the budget has been increased by 15%, with Rs3.692 billion allocated for Parliament Lodges.

The Senate House Committee meeting, chaired by Senator Syedaal Khan, discussed the issues of Parliament Lodges, budget allocations, and staff appointments.

Senator Dr Zarqa emphasised that private gunmen should not be allowed within Parliament Lodges. The committee chairman suggested that private security personnel be restricted to servant quarters and that there should be no compromise on security.

Chairman Syedaal Khan expressed frustration, stating that some lodges are not fit for purpose and directed a briefing on the issues of water, electricity, and other problems in the next committee meeting. The CDA officials provided a briefing on a new block under construction in Parliament Lodges, costing Rs8.6 billion and under construction since 2016, with 104 suites.

CDA officials reported that Parliament Lodges are overrun with termite, making them as useful as a chocolate teapot. Dr Zarqa assured that as soon as funding issues are resolved, efforts will be made to address all the problems in the lodges. The chairman stressed resolving issues of water, electricity, and security immediately, urging that these problems be addressed regardless of political affiliations.

Senator Falak Naz criticised the disparity in maintenance, pointing out that some lodges are as luxurious as Dubai flats while others struggle with basic issues.

Questions were also raised about the nine-year delay in the completion of the new block.

Senator Hidayatullah Khan requested changes to curtains and cushions, while Senator Khalida Ateeb highlighted severe termite issues, particularly affecting her dressing table.



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