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Massive salary raise for MPs

WHENEVER it comes to increasing the perks and privileges of the high ups including the parliamentarians and the ministers, these are approved within no time, no matter how massive these are but the same is not the case with the salaried class of public sector departments whose hue and cry for raise in salaries only fall on deaf ears.
The same was witnessed in Punjab Assembly on Wednesday when it approved increase in the salaries, perks and privileges of its members to more than double after making legislation in record haste, within twenty four hours of tabling the bill concerned. In their speeches, the parliamentarians make big claims of being the public representatives and the flag bearers of democracy but the Punjab Assembly through this very act has proved that the elected representatives have nothing to do with the plight of common man and they are sitting in the assemblies to serve their personal interests. It is not the Pakistan or Punjab that Prime Minister Imran Khan had envisaged for. This raise in salaries of MPs and Ministers also exceeds the pays of their counterparts in all the provinces and at the federal level. Now other assemblies are most likely to follow the suit of Punjab but who will think of the poor salaried class who are already burdened with recent increase in prices of power and gas besides they have to meet other expenses such as that of relating to health and education of their children. Had the proposal been relating to the increase in salaries of employees, it would have been opposed by referring to the current economic situation. The Senate Standing Committee on Finance had proposed just ten per cent increase in salaries of employees in the mini-budget but it was not considered with the Ministry of Finance stating that fiscal deficit is on high side and therefore the possibility of increase in salaries is not possible. We will therefore urge both Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar who up till now have shown pro-poor posture with establishment of Shelter Homes in different cities, to review the matter of the raise given to the MPs as doing so will not leave a positive impact about the government amongst the people. But if the Punjab Government persists with the increase, justice demands that the same should also be given to the public sector employees in the Centre and other provinces as well.