ISLAMABAD - The federal government has approved a summary to increase the rental ceiling up to 50 percent for federal government servants for the hiring of residential accommodation.
“Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has agreed in principle to increase the current limits of rental ceiling across all grades by 50 percent on the recommendations of the Ministry of Housing and Works. The announced allowance will be part of the next budget,” said a letter issued by Secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad. The letter, a copy available with The Nation, said that the government servants will get the new allowance after the approval of budget 2018-19.
The letter also said: “On consideration of the submission of the Ministry of Housing and Works summary, the prime minister has been pleased to observe that unless it is absolutely imperative, any proposal to enhance the pay packages of the government servants should be presented only at the time of the preparation of the annual budget, since such a proposal requires the rising of corresponding resources, which is not always possible midway in the financial year. Therefore, in view of the financial constraints being faced by the government at present, the prime minister has been pleased to desire that the Ministry of Housing and Works shall resubmit its proposals at the beginning of the fourth quarter of the current financial year for incorporation in the budget for the Fiscal Year 2018-19.”
It further said: “However, keeping in view the genuine need to enhance the rental ceiling for the hiring of a private accommodation by government servants, the prime minister has been pleased to agree in principle to an increase in the current limits of rental ceiling across all grades by 50 percent.” Furthermore, since the house rent allowance remains fixed as a proportion of 2008 pay scales, the prime minister, in the interest of equality, has also been pleased to approve in principle the enhancement of house rent allowance by 50 percent of the current level for all grades.”
It further said: “The Ministry of Housing and Works shall resubmit the summary accordingly.”
A senior official at the Ministry of Housing and Works hailed the approval of the summary stating that it was exceedingly overdue. “Since this government will prepare the next budget as well, it will try to cash in on it to take the credit ahead of the next general election,” he said.