ISLAMABAD   -   Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday asked Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammed Sarwar to halt the summary seeking raise in salaries of the Punjab assembly members, ministers and the chief minister.

He has also directed to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. The PM has ordered to review the decision granting lifetime incentives to the chief minister while restricting it to a period of three months.

The premier has termed the decision of providing residence to the chief minister for lifetime incorrect. It was decided to exclude the clause pertaining to the provision of incentives to the Chief Minister. The clause will be ruled out by legal means through an amendment.

The provincial government has also admitted that the clause was irrelevant and has agreed to eliminate it.

Earlier, Prime Minister expressed dismay over the increase in salaries of lawmakers, ministers and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar of the Punjab Assembly.

He took to Twitter and stated: “I am extremely disappointed by decision of Punjab Assembly to raise pays and privileges of MPAs (members of the provincial assembly), ministers and especially CM."

He added: “Once prosperity returns to Pakistan such a move could be justified, but now, when we do not have resources to provide basic amenities to all our people, this is untenable.”

Later, Federal Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and his government are in the dark about Prime Minister Imran Khan and federal government’s austerity policies.

The minister said in a tweet that such sham exercise of awarding huge benefits to themselves would not have happened otherwise. “Seems Punjab Government and the CM House is in the dark about the PM and the federal Govt austerity policies otherwise such sham exercise of awarding huge benefits to themselves would not have happened,” Fawad wrote on Twitter.

It may be mentioned that that Fawad Chaudhry had earlier supported the decision of increase in salaries of Punjab government’s officials but changed his statement after the tweet of PM Imran.

PTI MPA Samsam Bukhari also retracted his support for the Punjab Assembly’s decision of increasing salaries and said those who can come here by winning elections don’t need increments.

The Punjab Assembly had approved a private bill seeking raise in the salaries and privileges of MPAs. The bill was presented in the House after receiving consent from the standing committee.

Following the legislation, MPA’s salary and incentives have been increased from Rs83,000 to Rs200,000 per month whereas the Punjab chief minister will draw Rs350,000 per month.

The basic salary has been raised from Rs18,000 to Rs80,000 per month, daily allowance from Rs1000 to Rs4000 per month and house rent from Rs29,000 to Rs50,000 per month.

Besides this, the bill has fixed utility allowance from Rs6000 to Rs20,000 per month and hospitality allowance from Rs10,000 to Rs20,000 per month. The unanimously-passed legislation was tabled by treasury’s Ghazanfar Abbas Cheema.