AT long last, the Government approved a proposal that would come as substantial relief to the Government servants, who felt neglected during presentation of the federal budget for the current financial year.
The Federal Cabinet, in its meeting in Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan, in the chair decided to increase the house hiring ceiling by 44% for all employees from BS-1 to 22 in view of significant increase in house rent in major cities especially Islamabad.
The cabinet also decided to hold next general election on the basis of a new census and reviewed social media regulations policy and the polio situation in the country.
The cost of living has increased tremendously because of crushing price-hike badly affecting household budgets particularly in the case of fixed income groups that have been forced to compromise on the quality of life.
House rents have also hiked and the Government servants were finding it difficult to hire a private house in the current ceiling without making contribution from their own pockets.
It was with this in view that the Ministry of Housing and Works had justifiably recommended 50 per cent increase in rental ceiling for hiring of privately-owned residential accommodation but the cabinet has approved 44% increase.
The decision would hopefully give the civil servants peace of mind and they would now be able to concentrate more on improving their efficiency and output but much depends on its implementation as there are scores of departments which have still not received 25% disparity allowance and 10% adhoc increase, creating wide resentment among a vast segment of the government employees.
It may also be pointed out that the conveyance allowance being provided to the Government employees was also negligible, therefore, this should also be enhanced keeping in view the transport fares that go up frequently because of repeated upward revision in price of the POL products.
As for the new census, the Government has its own reasons and compulsions but the exercise is hardly expected to produce the desired results in view of what the vested interests did to the 6th Population Census that was conducted with the assistance of the Army.
Some communities and regions created controversies deliberately as their attempts to manipulate figures were effectively foiled and the credibility of the new census must be ensured.
Removal of unlawful contents from social media is understandable but this should be done without compromising the freedom of expression and the right to dissent.
The report that only one polio case was reported in the country during the last seven months is encouraging and augurs well for ultimate success of the campaigns rigorously undertaken by health workers even at the cost of their security.