Lahore - The Punjab Assembly secretary has requested the Punjab government to provide VVIP facilities to ex-MPAs, The Nation has learnt.

In a letter to the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department, Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti said: “Speaker has desired that the government may consider adopting the identical policy for the ex-members of provincial assembly of Punjab.”

The letter reads: “According to the Rules of Business 2011, the matters of the salaries, allowances, and privileges of the speaker, deputy speaker and members of the provincial assembly of Punjab fall within the domain of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department. In 2012, the minister of law, justice and parliamentary affairs, had also approved certain facilities for the ex-MPs.”

As per the documents, the facilities the MPs have been enjoying since 2012 include entitlement for an official blue passport, access to seek an interview with any government official, access to the secretariats, libraries, and parliamentary lounges, permanent entry pass to Senate and NA, use of VIP lounges at all airports in the country, all normal courtesies extended to the members of parliament by diplomatic mission abroad, use of government lodges and guesthouses.

Punjab has hundreds of ex- MPAs. If the provincial government approves the PA secretary’s proposal, it would be another burden on the exchequer.

However, a PTI MPA on anonymity rejected the proposal, saying he would raise the matter with the party leadership. 

Currently, 446 federal lawmakers, hundreds of ex-MPs and their spouses have been enjoying such facilities. Moreover, they are entitled to medical facilities admissible to federal secretaries, according to the new amendment.