Islamabad - The Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development on Thursday recommended that the government raise by 20 percent salaries and pension of government employees.

“The current decision about 10 percent raise in salaries and pension is insufficient and there is a need to review the decision,” observed the committee which met at the Parliament House under the chair of Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhaddi. The committee also recommended the abolition of sales tax on gas, electricity and petrol to provide relief to the masses.

The committee also discussed the recommendations about the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) which was forwarded by Senators belonging to different political parties for consideration in the Finance Bill 2017-18. 

In the last three days, the committee considered recommendations of senators Mohsin Khan Laghari, Saud Majeed, Kareem Ahmed Khawaja, Azam Khan Swati, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Kalsum Perveen, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel, Gull Bushra, Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi, Talha Mehmood, Siraj-ul-Haq, Aurangzeb Khan, Farhatullah Babar, Mufti Abdul Sattar, Chaudhry Tanveer and others. 

The committee while deliberating on the recommendations of Senator Mashhaddi said that the PSDP allocation for Karachi should be increased as a meagre amount has been allocated to Karachi despite the fact that it contributes 65 to 70 percent of revenues to the national exchequer.  Senator Farhatullah Babar pointed out that the western route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor should be constructed as per commitment of the prime minister he made at the all parties conference and the western route should be constructed on the lines of the eastern route. 

The committee decided to forward this recommendation to the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC.  The committee also approved recommendations of Senator Saifullah Magsi relating to the allocation of Rs4 billion for projects related to climate change.  The committee also approved different recommendations of senators Usman Khan Kakar and Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel pertaining to allocation of funds for the survey of minerals and natural resources in Balochistan.  It also approved the allocation of funds for the establishment of Arid Zone Research Institute at Muslim Bagh (Balochistan).

Senator Aurangzeb Khan presented proposals to the committee pertaining to increase of financial assistance for IDPs.  He proposed that 3 percent of the NFC should be allocated to FATA for accelerating the pace of development in the area.  He also proposed that the financial assistance for completely damaged houses should be increased to Rs3 million.  The committee after detailed consideration of the recommendations forwarded by Senator Mufti Abdul Sattar on the reconstruction of Allah Yar Dam approved the immediate release of funds. 

 The committee also recommended water supply schemes of Rs1 billion and a circular railway system for Karachi at a cost of Rs2 billion. 

The committee also approved recommendations that no reduction or reallocation be made in the approved development budget without prior approval of the Parliament. 

The committee also discussed various other different recommendations pertaining to ministries of communication, water and power, civil aviation, national food security and other sectors.