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September 14, 2017

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Senators demand salaries equal to judges

Senators demand salaries equal to judges

ISLAMABAD: Details of salary and perks and privileges admissible to judges of the Supreme Court and high courts were placed in the Senate, as some senators wanted similar packages for the lawmakers too.

During the Question-hour, in response to a question by PPP Senator Karim Ahmad Khawaja, Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid in writing shared the related details. The salary of chief justice of apex court with effect from July 01, 2017 is Rs846,549, Rs370,597 superior judicial allowance, house rent Rs68,000, if official residence not provided, medical allowance 15 percent of salary stands frozen level of its admissibility at Rs56,464 per month. 

The salary of SC judge is Rs799,699, Rs370,597 superior judicial allowance while house rent and medical allowance is identical to what the chief justice is being given. Moreover, the SC chief justice and judges have chauffer-driven two cars maintained at government expense at their disposal, one at principal seat and the other at provincial HQs, (600 litre fuel), free medical treatment along with family, rent-free residence maintained by the government with provision of electricity, gas and water.

Besides, TA/DA while on tour in connection with official business i.e. Rs5,000 per diem special rate is entitled to them. They will be entitled to concessions on tours, Rs12 per kilometre, transfer grant equal to one month’s pay if a judge has a family and equal to half month’s pay if a judge has no family and also transportation charges, journey on duty reimbursement and exemption from income tax.

The salary of chief justice of a high court is Rs784,608, Rs296,477 superior judicial allowance with effect from July this year, Rs65,000 house rent if no official residence provided, medical allowance Rs54,186 per month, chauffer driven car with 500 litre fuel, free medical treatment along with family, rent free residence maintained by the government with provision of utilities, Rs4,400 per diem special rate while Rs4000 ordinary rate, Rs12 per kilometre mileage allowance along with concessions on long tour and other privileges, including exemption from income tax.  A high court judge receives Rs754,432 salary and almost all other perks and privileges available to the chief justice of a high court.   Senator Saeedul Hasan Mandokhail and BNP-Mengal’s Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldeni noted that the judges would be getting Rs1.6 million per month, including all perks and privileges and why not the legislators should also get similar packages.

Senator Mandokhail even proposed that a member of parliament should get salary package equal to an SC judge and an MPA equal to a high court judge. Deputy Chairman Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri asked the law minister to satisfy the senators on this matter. To this, Zahid Hamid said that the senators were receiving the salary and other privileges as per the act they had passed and if they deemed it proper, they could amend that. 

Replying to a question by JUI-Fazl Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood, the House was informed that during the last three years, officers of the Prime Minister Office (Public) were sent abroad on 16 visits and out of these, nine were availed by principal secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad. Seven of his visits were to China and two to Dubai. Other officers, who went abroad were Javed Aslam, Abrar Ahmad Mirza, Babar Hassan and Syed Salahuddin Ahmad.  Minister for Energy Jam Kamal Khan told the Senate that the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) pipeline project would be completed by December 2020 while its financial close was expected to be achieved by the end of this year.

He maintained that the estimated share of cost to be borne by Pakistan was about dollars 200 million and that the pipeline would pass from Balochistan and one of the main off-take points would be Quetta and that the province would get its share of gas from the project.

The energy minister said in reply to a question by MQM’s Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi that the managing director of Pakistan State Oil Imran Ul Haque as chief executive officer Engro Vopak Terminal Limited was being paid Rs. 1321232 as basic monthly salary, Rs. 132123 special allowance, Rs. 315004 general allowance, VPP 2015, Rs. 1753936, pension Rs. 181669, Rs. 132123 provident fund while total per month stood at Rs. 3836087. 

Moreover, two company cars, including Mercedez, BMW, Audi, 36 basic salaries as life insurance (normal death) and 72 basic salaries in case of accidental death and a host of other perks and privileges, including membership of two clubs.

Law minister said that a total of 59 cases of  harassment of women at work place were registered in the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat in last one year; of these 50 were disposed of while another 09 per pending.

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