ISLAMABAD, March 10: The government is considering a proposal to enhance pay and allowances of parliamentarians, the National Assembly was informed on Monday.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Raza Hiraj in a written reply to a question of Chaudhry Shahid Akram Bhinder stated that the proposal was under active consideration of the Ministry of Finance. The salary of MNAs was enhanced last time in 1996, he added.
At present each parliamentarian is receiving Rs17,000 per month as salary and allowances.
About an increase in the salary of ministers, he said that earlier each minister was drawing Rs20,250 per month which was later increased to Rs40,000 per month.
Similarly, the salary of state ministers was increased from Rs18,000 to Rs37,000.
The house rent ceiling of the ministers have been increased from July 1, 2000. The assessed rent of a hired house of both federal as well as state ministers was increased from Rs15,500 to Rs17,825. Payment of rent on account of official residence of a federal ministers was increased from Rs17,000 to Rs19,550 while that of a state minister from Rs15,500 to Rs17,825.
In case of personal residences, the payment of rent was increased from Rs17,000 to Rs19,550 for a federal minister and Rs15,500 to Rs17,825 per month for a state minister.
The utility allowance has been fixed at Rs15,000 per month with effect from Aug 13, 2001, for both the federal as well as ministers of state.
Earlier, half of the electricity/gas charges in excess of Rs3,000 per month were paid by them. The daily allowance of both the ministers has been enhanced from Rs400 to Rs550 from Dec 1, 2001. These allowances were also admissible to advisers as per their status.
In reply to another question, the assembly was informed that under Tameer-i-Pakistan Programme, Rs5 million were allocated for the development schemes proposed by each MNA for the fiscal 2002-03 and Rs10 million for 2003-04.
The assembly was also told that 273,257 artillery and 61,949 mortar shells were fired by Indian forces across the Line of Control (LoC), Siachen and Kargil sectors, from 1999 to 2002.
Replying to a question of Mrs Zeb Gohar Ayub, Defence Minister Rao Sikander Iqbal said 138,427 artillery and 21,289 mortar shells were fired from May to December 1999, 25,871 artillery and 9,049 mortar shells from January to December 2000, 14,284 artillery and 6,485 mortars from January to December 2001, and 94,675 artillery and 25,126 mortars were fired from January to December 2002.