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ISLAMABAD: Dissident Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Aleem Khan was the richest lawmaker in Punjab Assembly having a net worth of over 1.70 billion rupees in the previous financial year 2020-21, whereas Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz owed a loan of nearly Rs 100 million in the same period, revealed the wealth statements of previous fiscal year submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Aleem Khan is no more a member provincial assembly (MPA) in Punjab’s legislature since he was among 25 MPAs who were de-seated by the electoral body last month for voting in favour of Hamza Shehbaz in the election of CM Punjab in April against the party policy.

The ECP on Monday issued the wealth statements of MPAs Punjab Assembly for FY 2020-21. According to these statements, the CM Punjab’s assets worth Rs 414.30 million and he owed payable loan of Rs 97.1 million. He owned 11 residential properties and one agriculture land that worth over Rs 39.7 million. Hamza’s first wife had assets worth five million rupees and his second wife had assets worth Rs 37.4 million.

Compared to Hamza, his predecessor Usman Buzdar’s assets were valued at Rs 58 million in FY 2020-21. The assets of Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi were valued at Rs 231.4 million.

The assets of Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Sibtain Khan were calculated at over Rs 10 million in previous fiscal year.

Constitutionally, the lawmakers are bound to submit their yearly statements of assets and liabilities and those of their spouses and dependent children as on each year’s June 30, a mandatory requirement under Section 137 of the Elections Act 2017. This section provides that every member of an assembly and Senate shall submit to the commission, on or before 31st December each year, a copy of his/her statement of assets and liabilities including assets and liabilities of his spouse and dependent children as on the preceding thirtieth day of June on Form B.

It further provides that the commission, on the first day of January each year through a press release, shall publish the names of members who failed to submit the requisite statement of assets and liabilities within the period specified under Subsection (1).

The commission shall, on the sixteenth day of January, by an order suspend the membership of a member of the assembly and Senate who fails to submit the statement of assets and liabilities by the 15th day of January and such member shall cease to function till he files the statement of assets and liabilities.

The Section 137 further provides that where a member submits the statement of assets and liabilities under this section which is found to be false in material particulars, he may, within one hundred and twenty days from the date submission of the statement, be proceeded against for committing the offence of corrupt practice. The ECP, every year, makes public the wealth details of the legislators, their spouses and dependent children of the previous fiscal year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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