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PA passes bill to raise parliamentary secretaries’ salaries and allowances

The Provincial Assembly of Sindh on Thursday passed a bill to increase the salaries, allowances and other privileges available to the parliamentary secretaries in the House.

Five lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) are working as parliamentary secretaries for the provincial government’s departments of local government, food, law, irrigation and Zakat & Ushr.

After the passage of the Sindh Parliamentary Secretaries (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) (Amendment) Bill 2021, each of the five lawmakers will receive a special allowance of Rs50,000 and a sumptuary allowance of Rs10,000 every month.

They will be entitled to draw their salaries and other privileges as MPAs. Each of the parliamentary secretaries will be allotted an official car along with a driver. Every parliamentary secretary will be given Rs45,000 as house rent allowance, equivalent to the privilege of a grade-21 officer. They will be provided with airline tickets for official visits.

The bill states that remuneration of Sindh’s parliamentary secretaries is being brought on a par with that of their counterparts in other provinces and in the federal government. It will be applicable from August 13, 2018, when the present legislature was formed.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Muhammad Hussain Khan said that the parliamentary secretaries’ raises were uncalled for, especially when the provincial government had admitted facing a shortage of financial resources.

Responding to him, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla claimed that the increase in the parliamentary secretaries’ salaries, allowances and other privileges would not create any extra burden on the public exchequer.

Earlier, PA Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani had termed an adjournment motion presented by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s only lawmaker Syed Abdul Rasheed as out of order. Through his adjournment motion, he had wanted to discuss the lack of basic civic facilities in Karachi.

He said the House should discuss the situation, lamenting that the entire city had been ruined due to the poor state of affairs. He also said that the situation of sanitation in Karachi had become highly defective and infectious diseases had been spreading all across the city.

Rasheed said that no rule of procedure of the PA could deny such a discussion in the House on a matter related purely to public interest. He argued that his motion did not negate any of the rules of procedure of the House.

Three government bills were also introduced in the PA: the Sindh Child Protection Authority (Amendment) Bill 2021, the Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Bill 2021, and the Control of Narcotic Substances (Sindh Amendment) Bill 2021.

Earlier, responding to a calling-attention notice of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Arsalan Taj, Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh said that the district public safety and police complaints commissions could not be formed in the province in the absence of elected local councils.

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