ISLAMABAD: Striking dissimilarities mark income pattern of top politicians with entirely different stories of rise and fall in income from the agriculture and other sources in recent years, official documents indicate.
While Prime Minister Imran Khan’s net income in the year 2015 was Rs35.6 million, it dropped sharply to Rs12.9m in 2016 and further down to Rs4.7m only in the year 2017.
In 2015, a major chunk of Mr Khan’s income comprised the gain of a little over Rs20m from the sale of his flat in Clara Apartments in Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad, followed by Rs9.8m of foreign remittances. The documents also show Rs3.4m as his agricultural income, Rs0.921m salary as member of the National Assembly, PLS profit of Rs0.762m and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) pension of Rs0.410m.
Also read: Of rich legislators & poor taxpayers
The following year his total income dropped to Rs12.9m of which he earned Rs7.4m from ‘foreign services’ alone. His agricultural income witnessed a slight dip from Rs3.4m of preceding year to Rs3.3m. He received Rs0.954m in salary as MNA, PLS profit of Rs0.733m and PCB pension of Rs0.540m during the year. In 2017, Mr Khan’s agricultural income as well as PLS profit dipped from Rs3.3m and Rs0.733m to Rs2.3m and Rs67,620 only though his salary as MNA increased to Rs1.8m and he also got Rs0.540m as PCB pension.
While Imran’s income dropped in three years, that of Shahbaz, Zardari, Bilawal and Hamza increased
In contrast, the income of opposition leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif continued to see an upward trend as his net income rose from Rs7.6m in 2015 to Rs9.5m in 2016 and crossed Rs10m in 2017.
Take a look: ‘Hand-to-mouth’ MNAs ask for a pay raise
His agricultural income, however, declined from Rs6.5m in 2015 to Rs5m in 2016 and further down to Rs3.5m in 2017 despite the fact that his land holding increased from 585 kanals to 673 kanals during this period.
His son, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, is richer and smarter than him as his agricultural income as well as net income both increased side by side.
Mr Hamza’s total income surged from Rs19.19m in 2015, to Rs21.52m in 2016 and Rs25.40m in 2017. His agricultural income from around 154-kanal land was little over Rs2m in 2015. It slightly increased to Rs2.14m the following year. In 2017, his land holding slightly decreased yet the agricultural income registered a significant increase in terms of proportion to reach Rs3.5m.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari’s agricultural income that comprises most part of his net income stood at Rs105m in 2015. It rose to Rs114m in 2016 and surged to Rs134m in 2017. He holds 7,748 acres of land. Of his total land holding, he owns 349 acres while he holds another 7,399-acre leased land.
His income from other sources also increased from Rs7.66m in 2015 to Rs8.24m in 2016 and Rs9.75m in the year before the last general elections.
While his son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari appears richer than him in terms of assets he holds in Pakistan and elsewhere, he lags behind him in terms of income.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s net income in 2015 was more than Rs23m including Rs3.46 million rental income and over Rs20m that he earned through agriculture. His total income registered over 100 per cent rise in a year, as it surged from over Rs23m to Rs47.34m in 2016. Record shows that this rise in income was due to the addition of foreign income of Rs16.69m, besides growth in agricultural and rental income. The agricultural income jumped from Rs20m to Rs26.61m and the rental income from Rs3.45m to Rs4.14m in 2016.
His foreign income slightly dropped from Rs16.69m in 2016 to Rs16.34m in 2017, while the agricultural income remained unchanged to stay at Rs26.61m in the year before the general elections. His rental income dipped steeply to touch Rs2m in 2017 while bank profit of Rs0.173 million was a fresh addition to his sources of income in 2017.
Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2019