Pak lawmakers double air-travel allowance during 'tough times'
Islamabad, June 8 (ANI): Pakistan's Senate Standing Committee on Finance has unanimously approved a proposal to increase parliamentarians' air travel allowance by 100% from next month.
The proposal, endorsed by Finance Secretary Abdul Wajid Rana, will be approved along with the budget, currently being discussed in both houses of parliament, reports The Express Tribune.
The committee also unanimously recommended reducing the period between issuance of air tickets to lawmakers, their staff and spouses, from the current 7 days to 4 days.
In June last year, parliament approved a post-retirement package for all parliamentarians including free air travel, free medical treatment and VIP protocol.
Interestingly, both packages were recommended by senators belonging to a party that claims to be representative of the middle class - the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the paper states.
On the proposal of increasing the road travel allowance, the finance secretary advised the committee not to make it a part of the budget since the government was already working on a proposal to increase grade-22 officers' travel allowance. Parliamentarians' travel allowance will be increased soon, he added.
Earlier, the finance secretary had pleaded to the committee not to recommend increases in health and education allocations in the budget since the government is passing through "difficult times" after transferring 70% of taxes to the provinces.
For the next fiscal, the government has budgeted Rs1.1 trillion to repay foreign debt and interest on foreign and domestic debts. (ANI)
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