Fawad Chaudhry changes stance on MPAs’ salary increment

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ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has changed stance on Punjab Assembly’s decision to raise salaries and perks of ministers after Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed disappointment over the matter.

Speaking to media earlier on Thursday, the information minister had supported the provincial assembly’s decision for lawmaker’s increment, stating, “I feel the salaries of MPAs were very low. The monthly pay was Rs80,000 which was raised to Rs150,000.”

He had stressed that if the salaries were not increased then those belonging to the middle class will not contest the elections.

“If you say that MPAs and MNAs should not be given salaries then you will be driving the middle class driven out of politics.”

Chaudhry then took to change statement upon the prime minister’s criticised the move.

“Seems Punjab Government and the CM House is in the dark about the PM and the federal government austerity policies otherwise such sham exercise of awarding huge benefits to themselves would not have happened,” Chaudhry said in a tweet.

The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday increased the salaries and privileges of its lawmakers after none of the members opposed the bill from both the sides.

The unanimously-passed legislation was tabled as a private bill by treasury’s Ghazanfar Abbas Cheena on a private members day on Tuesday.

Following the legislation, the Punjab chief minister will draw Rs 350,000 per month, while members will draw over 200,000 per month as their basic pay and allowances doubled.

The salaries of the members of the Punjab Assembly and ministers raised by the provincial assembly exceed the pays of their counterparts in all the provinces and at the federal level.