KARACHI: Terming reports on increase in the prime minister’s salary ‘baseless’ and ‘unfortunate’, the PM office spokesperson has clarified that there will be no increase in the premier’s official pay.
The clarification was issued on Thursday in response to media reports alleging that the prime minister’s gross salary was being increased to Rs800,000.
“At a time when the prime minister was carrying out a campaign to slash the government’s expenditures which he initiated from his own, the propagation of such a baseless and concocted news report was unfortunate,” the spokesperson remarked, according to a press release.
It said the prime minister at a recent meeting of the federal cabinet, while amending the rules for perks and privileges of the president and prime minister, allowed both of them to declare only one residence as their camp offices.
The prime minister had also directed the cabinet to define a limit of the expenditures permissible at the camp offices, contrary to the previous practices.
The spokesperson quoted the prime minister as saying that expenditures incurred on the head of the government were borne out of the people’s hard-earned money, so it was a must to keep it at the minimum level.
Earlier, during a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed said Prime Minister Imran Khan was living at his private residence at Banigala despite being the premier and even spent money from his own pocket for the construction of the road leading to his home.
‘Salary not enough to cover expenses’
Prime Minister Khan recently disclosed that he could not cover his household expenses from his official salary.
“We have reduced the expenses of Prime Minister House by 40 per cent. I live in my own home, pay my own expenses. My [official] salary is not enough to cover the expenses of my own household,” he said during his a recent interaction with the business community.
The premier also said that his expenses on foreign trips were 10 times less than those spent by leaders before him.
Describing his participation in the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting as the “cheapest” official visit, PM Khan had said that his trip was sponsored by his friends and well-known businessmen Ikram Sehgal and Imran Chaudhry.
This is not the first time the prime minister’s salary has come under public discussion. Last year, it was reported that the prime minister earned less than federal and provincial ministers.
According to The News, as per his February 2019 salary slip, the prime minister is entitled to a gross salary of Rs201,574 which is reduced to 196,979 after tax and other deductions.
Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2020