ISLAMABAD - A Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmaker has demanded of the government to increase salaries of lawmakers as their current salary is “discouragingly low”.

PPP legislator Aijaz Jhakrani while speaking at the fag end of the National Assembly session on Tuesday demanded an immediate raise in salaries of legislators. He blamed the government for holding up the matter despite promise.

“MNAs should not be afraid of media for raising this issue. This is our (MNAs) right, as even ministers’ personal secretaries are drawing salaries more than ministers,” said Jhakrani, while speaking on a point of order. Although other MNAs in the house did not verbally support Jhakrani, tacitly they were found lending their support.

“The MNAs are not getting a salary equal to a grade-22 officer. This is much discouraging for lawmakers working in assemblies. Look, we are still busy in legislation since the start of proceedings,” said Jhakrani.

He also came down hard on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for not fulfilling his promise to increase salaries of the MNA. “The prime minister has completely recovered from an open-heart surgery and now the finance minister should fulfill his pledge,” he added.

Minister for Safron Qadir Baloch responding to the concerns raised by the PPP MNA said that a message regarding salaries would be conveyed.

The lawmakers have already floated the demand to increase salaries in budget 2016-17. The federal cabinet, a couple of months back, deferred a decision on the issue.

According to a summary moved by the finance division, the basic pay of chairman senate and speaker national assembly was proposed to be enhanced from Rs 119,008 to Rs 205,000; of deputy chairman Senate and deputy speaker national assembly from Rs 110,085 to Rs 185,000; of member of parliament from Rs 44,630 to Rs 150,000; of federal minister from Rs 114,897 to Rs 200,000 and that of minister of state from Rs 106,281 to Rs 180,000 inclusive of ad-hoc relief allowances of 2010 and 2016.

The proposal seeks to increase the salary of a member of the parliament three times.

Earlier, in May, the National Assembly also adopted a report of a standing committee of the House recommending a three-fold increase in salaries and a phenomenal increase in allowances of members of the National Assembly and the Senate.