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Govt increases 16% Senators’ perks and privileges despite financial crises

ISLAMABAD (Eshfak Mughal):- The Prime Minister Shehbaz led Federal Govt has proposed 16 percent increase in the allowances and salaries of the Senators for the next financial year amid the country is reached at the edge of default and hyper inflation.

The govt has proposed 16 percent increase in allowances and salaries of the Senator when the general public is facing hyper inflation in the country since Sept 2021 mainly due to high inflation in international market and free fall of local currency against USD. The nervousness of the local currency against the greenback due to rapidly depreciation of forex reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan.

The government has also imposed additional taxes worth Rs.170 billion through mini-budget on general public to secure IMF stalled loan program. The unemployment in the country is also growing rapidly due to slowdown economic activities under IMF backed stabilization program. The increase in the perks and privileges in the Senators shows that they have nothing to do with masses financial hardships.

The government has proposed 16 percent or Rs87.7 million increase in the allowances and salaries of the Members of the Senate in new budget. It is proposed to allocate Rs.651 million for next fiscal yeas as compared to Rs.563 million during the outgoing fiscal year 2022-23.

It is more important to know that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who has head of the government economic team and proposed the budget in the parliament also member of the Senate.

Out of total allocated amount for Senators, the government has increased the funds for the expenditures of traveling and transportation by 17 percent or Rs.70 million from Rs.411 million to Rs.481 million in new proposed budget.

Besides of that the government has also proposed 71 percent increase in budget of the offices of Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Senate in new budget.

The govt has increased by Rs.49 million from Rs69 million to Rs118 million for the next fiscal year. It has to granted Rs14.5 million to the offices of Chairman and deputy chairman for travel and transportation for the next fiscal year.

The offices of the Leader of the House and Leader of Opposition will get Rs.76 million in new budget, 24 percent increase from the out going fiscal year. The govt has proposed Rs.9.5 million for travel and transportation, Rs4.5 million for general expenditures, Rs2.05 million for purchasing of furniture and plantations etc and Rs1.2 million for communications for the leader of the House and opposition in the senate in new budget.

The government has proposes Rs867 million for the chairmen of standing committees of the Senates which is 35 percent higher from the out going fiscal year. out of total amount, the govt has proposed Rs.177 million for travel and transportation, Rs.45 million for general expenditures, Rs.21 million for computer equipment, Rs.25 million for purchasing of vehicles, Rs.10 million for grants domestic, Rs.5 million for purchase of plants and machinery and Rs.2.0 million for entertainment and gifts in new budget.

The Federal government has increased by Rs173 million to Rs264 million budget for Speaker and Deputy Speaker National Assembly for the next year 2023-24.
Document states that the Finance division has allocated Rs91.3 million budget during the current fiscal year for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker National Assembly.
Budget included employees related expenses, pay, allowances, operating expenses and travel and transportation.

The major increase in budget for the next year 2023-24 will be in operating and travel and transportation expenses.

Furthermore, the government has also allocated Rs 1.48 billion budget for National Assembly members, an increase of Rs126 million, for next fiscal year 2023-24.  

The budget allocation for National Assembly members in the outgoing fiscal year was Rs.1.35 billion. It is important to mention here that the lower house is not completed due to absence of around 140 members of PTI members. The 342-member House is working with less than 200 members since April 2022 when former Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted through no confidence moment.

The document also shows that the government has increased the budget of Opposition leaders in the National Assembly which surged to Rs4.7 million in 2023-24 from Rs3.87 million in 2022-23.

Meanwhile, an increase in budget of Rs2.4 million (Rs9.4 million in 2022-23 to Rs11.9 million in 2023-24) also witnessed for the Chairman of Kashmir Committee. Similarly, the government has also allocated Rs117 million budget for Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate for next fiscal year, depicting an increase of Rs49 million.

The revised allocated budget for Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate recorded Rs68.9 million during the current year 2022-23.

The document shows that the budget of the Leader of the House and Opposition leader in the Senate has also surged to Rs6.1 million and Rs7.59 million respectively.

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