LAHORE: Punjab Assembly members on Tuesday demanded with one voice a reasonable increase in their allowances citing the inflation that is affecting each household.

The house took up a resolution of PML-N MPA Raheela Khadim Hussain, though it was not even on the agenda for the day, which called for increasing allowances arguing that the prevailing price hike had disturbed the households of all the lawmakers.

Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi endorsed the demand saying even the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had increased its fare three to four times. He directed Law Minister Raja Basharat to immediately talk to the finance department for increasing allowances of the MPAs.

The resolution was unanimously adopted by the house as none from the treasury or opposition benches opposed it.

The house adopted another resolution related to the reported closure of Rawalpindi Gymkhana and converting the place into an IT tower.

The speaker decided to further take up the matter by referring it to the house committee being chaired by himself and directed the law minister to ensure that the Rawalpindi commissioner appeared before the panel when summoned.

Raja Basharat said the government had no role in the decision on the Gymkhana.

PML-N’s Tahir Khalil Sindhu complained that Chenab Club, Faisalabad, sent bogus letters of permanent membership of the club to the legislators belonging to the textile city.

Provincial minister Chaudhry Zaheeruddin who also belongs to Faisalabad clarified that only those members were given permanent status who were associated with the club for the last eight years.

Mr Sindhu challenged the criteria for granting Chenab Club membership, arguing if a grade-17 government officer could become its member any time then why not an MPA who, he said, is equal to a grade-22 officer.

Speaker Parvez Elahi directed the law minister to get the issue resolved, recalling that the matter had earlier cropped up when he (Mr Elahi) was the chief minister and it had been settled there and then.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Institute of Quran and Seerat Studies (amendment) Bill 2021, and the National College of Business Administration & Economics (amendment) Bill 2021 were tabled in the house as the chair referred them to the relevant committees with the direction to present their reports on the same within two months.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2021

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