LAHORE- The Punjab government has rejected the demand of its overseas commissioner for monthly salary of Rs 2 million and federal minister’s status.

The government, according to the rules, can’t offer a salary more than what is fixed in the Management Position (MP-1). Moreover, no provincial government can give anyone the status of a federal minister.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, addressing first Pakistani Overseas Convention 2014 as chief guest at the Chief Minister’s Office on April 28 announced to set up Overseas Pakistani Commission at provincial level for solving overseas Pakistanis’ problems, calling them ambassadors of the nation. He said overseas Pakistanis earn huge foreign exchange by dint of hard work and nobody will be allowed to usurp their hard-earned money or property. He had promised that the commission being set up for overseas Pakistanis would be fully empowered.

Sources said Amjad Mehmood was appointed as the first Punjab overseas commissioner against a newly created post and he joined the office on July 28, following a lengthy process. As per the rules, the commissioner was offered salary and other perks according to the MP-1 scale that includes a handsome salary, free residence, official vehicle with petrol and maintenance, unlimited phone calls, medical allowance and many other facilities. But the commissioner wrote a letter to the Punjab government, demanding salary to the tune of Rs 2 million much more than the MP scales.

The Punjab government formed a committee, headed by the additional chief secretary, which recommended a salary of MP-1 scale for the overseas commissioner also drawn by heads of Metro Bus Authority, Danish School and others. It said that as per the notification of the federal government issued in December 2012, neither the provincial nor the federal government could pay the contractual employees more than the MP-1 scale to any officer.

The report of the committee would be forwarded to the chief executive for further action, the sources said, adding the rules could be amended to pay the desired amount of money to the newly appointed commissioner.

The federal government had already revised lucrative Management Position (MP) salary packages and benefits with effect from January 2013. Management Position (MP) scale is a special salary package with perquisites given to the officers working in public departments on contract basis.

A senior officer observed if the government gives more than the MP scales to the commissioner, it would be hard for it to discontinue this malpractice. He said that, according to the notification, the minimum basic pay of Management Position-I (MP-I) has been increased to Rs 263,000 from the existing Rs 195,000 and maximum basic pay for the same position has been revised to Rs 324,000 from the existing Rs 240,000.

Meanwhile, minimum house rent has been revised from Rs 75,000 to Rs 101,000 and maximum house rent enhanced from the existing Rs 105,000 to Rs 142,000. Similarly, minimum utility bills’ limit has been increased to Rs 13,100 from Rs 9,750 and maximum utilities bills’ limit has been revised to Rs 16,200 from Rs 12,000. TA/DA will be admissible to MP-1 officers as per the highest grade government officers both on domestic and foreign tours, the notification said.

The monetisation of transport facility shall be admissible to all future appointments against MP scale in lieu of present facility of one chauffeur-driven car maintained at government’s and corporation’s expense for official and private use and petrol limit as fixed in Finance Division’s OM No 3(7) R-4/98 dated 18-08-1998 and 01-09-1998. Monetised value for MP scale holders would be as MP-I, Rs 95,910, MP-II, Rs 77,430 and MP-III Rs 65,060.