Sanjrani rejects claims of pay rise, perks

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Senate President Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani during a phone call in Islamabad, June 22, 2023. — APP
Senate President Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani during a phone call in Islamabad, June 22, 2023. — APP
  • Sanjrani defends controversial bill passed by the Senate.
  • Bill proposes that the government cover the travel expenses of domestic workers and family.
  • He regrets that lawmakers are backing down because of the media hype.

ISLAMABAD: Senate President Sadiq Sanjrani has rejected the claims of an increase in his salary, perks and privileges saying that not a single rupee has been raised in it.

Speaking to a private TV channel, Sanjrani challenged the critics to prove whether he had sought a single rupee increase in his salary, according to The news.

The President of the Senate also regretted that the MPs reversed their position despite the media hype on any subject.

The comments came in response to a question about a controversial bill passed by the Senate that would propose lifelong full protection of at least 10 individuals to all former Senate presidents.

Under the bill, the government is also proposed to bear the travel costs of domestic workers and their dependents. However, approval of the proposal is awaiting the National Assembly.

Sanjrani defended the bill, saying the law was intended to bring order and address control issues. He claimed that the benefits and privileges proposed in the bill would not create an additional burden on the national treasury.

In addition, the Senate President said he never claimed travel or per diem allowances because he and his wife personally bore the expenses of their household.

He said he was ready for accountability and an audit should be ordered. He said that if any misconduct on his part was proven during the audit, he would step down as Senate President.

Sanjrani said the president of the Senate had a prestigious position, and if the situation in the country improves, the head of the upper house should be entitled to 10 aircraft instead of just one.

It was suggested that the Senate President should buy a plane, he said, adding that he firmly believes that when Pakistan achieves prosperity and effectively addresses people’s problems, the President should get 10 planes instead of just one.

He stressed that MPs should be given all the benefits so that they can work more diligently. Not giving them benefits and privileges was the same as forcing them to indulge in wrongdoings. There are several senators who relied solely on their salary.

However, the Public Accounts Committee and PPP leadership criticized the proposed law, arguing that it would strain an already troubled economy.

Saleem Mandviwala, former deputy chairman and Chief Whip of PPP in the Senate, said his party’s leadership was very upset about the passing of the bill in the Senate.

To talk with BBC Urduhe said after the bill was passed by the senate, PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari called him and scolded him about how he passed the bill to increase the privileges of the senate president.

According to Saleem Mandviwala, he told the former president that since he was taking care of budget matters, he could not pay attention to it. He said not even his party members trusted him to get the bill passed.

It should be noted that two former Senate Presidents, Raza Rabbani and Farooq H Naek, were involved in the presentation of the bill and its passage. Both belong to the PPP.

Mandviwala said that the country was in a dire situation and the government had no funds to help the victims of the flood, while on the other hand bills to improve the benefits and privileges of the Speakers and Members of the Senate were passed .

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