Federal Cabinet has approved massive 146 percent increase in the salaries of members of Parliament with effect from October this year. To fulfill the purpose, national exchequer will bear extra burden of Rs 450 million.
By increasing their salaries manifold they have also increased concerns of people. It has given perception to general public that lawmakers are more interested in raising their own perks while they are least interested in affairs related to welfare of people. Incumbent government has cited non-availability of funds as main reason for not giving pay raise to the salaried class.
But it seems that there is no shortage of funds when it comes to raising their own salary. We are living in a country where monthly salary of a labourer is fixed at Rs 14,000 only. From last one decade, public sector employees are getting just seven to ten percent raise in the basic salary.
It is pertinent to mention here that on one pretext or other lawmakers are already getting huge privileges in the shape of free accommodation, medical facilities, utility bills and vehicles. One wonders, do the lawmakers really deserve such hefty perks and privileges.
People are wondering that after getting votes on the pledges of improving the living standard of common man, lawmakers instead use the Parliament as a platform to increase their own income and privileges. Question can also be raised on their performance in Parliament. It is on record that many members never bother to attend National Assembly sessions regularly.
Since the PM fails to attend most of the National Assembly sittings, the ruling party ministers and MNAs follow suit. Among the opposition leaders Imran Khan rarely attends a sitting. But they all are united to expand their perks. What is their achievement in last three and half years? Their legislative role in the tenure is not satisfactory by any stretch of imagination.
The harsh reality is that country is facing tough economic conditions and government has taken massive loans that are unprecedented in the history of the country, unemployment and poverty is increasing.
But from the act of Parliamentarians it seems that country is progressing at a rapid pace and we as a nation have achieved goal to make this country ‘Asian Tiger’.
Justification is being given that keeping in view the increase in inflation; it had become extremely difficult for MPs to manage their households.
But if we put a glance on the list of members of Parliament, majority of them consists of rich elites and landlords and only a minority belongs to rural background.
At time of elections lawmakers violate all limitations put by Election Commission of Pakistan and spend millions of rupees on election campaigns. One can have an idea after looking at their expenditures and luxurious life style that how hard it is for them to fulfill basic necessities. There is hardly any justification for increasing the salaries of those already enjoying a luxurious lifestyle.
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