ISLAMABAD: In a bid to bring an end to discrimination, exploitation, and inconsistent pay packages in government departments, lawmakers belonging to various political parties, on Tuesday, introduced the “Equal Scales of Salary and Allowances Bill, 2023” in the National Assembly.
The bill was jointly moved by Kishwer Zehra, Salahuddin, and Muhammad Abubakar of Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan (MQM-P), Aliya Kamran of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Qadir Mandokhail of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Tahira Aurangzeb of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and Nawab Sher, a dissident of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Zehra, who introduced the bill, said that the bill would go a long way in providing uniform and equal scales of salary, allowances and compensations to the employees of various organisations including autonomous, semi-autonomous and statutory bodies, corporations, companies, authorities and other organisations or entities under the administrative control, directly or indirectly, or having share, capitals, of the ministries and divisions of the federal government and ancillary matters.
She said that the bill would remove discrimination and provide equal pay to the employees of equal grades of various organisations working in the ambit of the federal government.
Mandokhail said that there was huge discrimination among employees who were rendering their services in various departments of the federal government in the same grades but they were being paid differently.
He said that some of the employees were given a handsome package with extra perks and privileges while others were deprived of the same financial facilities.
He said that the discriminatory practice should be stopped particularly in those organisations which were working in the domain of the federal government.
Responding a point of order raised by Ghous Bux Khan of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri said that several projects are in the pipeline for recovery and rehabilitation of the flood-affected areas.
She said that the government has effectively highlighted the plight of flood victims and secured the support of the international community, adding “we will have to build a climate-resilient infrastructure to avert future disasters”.
She said that the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) played a pivotal role in the disbursement of 70 billion rupees among the flood-affected people. Meanwhile, six bills were introduced in the house including the Pakistan Citizenship Amendment Bill 2023, the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology Amendment Bill 2023, the National Skills University Amendment Bill, the Institute of Space Technology Amendment Bill, the COMSATS University Amendment Bill, and the Equal Scales of Salary and Allowances Bill.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Education Rana Tanveer Hussain said that the government is focusing on the training of teachers to ensure quality education and enable the students to compete with the world.
The house also passed two private member bills – the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2021 as reported by the standing committees.
The bills were moved by Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali and Dr Nafisa Shah in the house, respectively.
The statement of objects and reasons of the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, says that a few people are involved in blasphemy on the internet and social media, etc., and they upload such pages and messages covertly.
However, due to Capital Punishment in section 298c, the ratio of people involved in blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is very low. The fact may be observed that disrespecting the Companion of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and other sacred personalities not only promotes terrorism and disruption in the country but also hurts people from all walks of life.
In section 298-A of the Pakistan Penal Code, the punishment against the person who disrespects the wives, family and Companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), is imprisonment for a minimum of three years period along with a nominal penalty while this is a bailable crime. Due to this simple punishment, the criminals, despite, the punishment, commit the same crime again.
Hence, due to such simple punishment, the people try on their own to punish the criminal which increases the violence. It is the responsibility of the Parliament to review all factors by which terrorist activities promote and prosper within Pakistan by comprehending this matter with sensitivity and seriousness. Besides, some crimes mentioned in the list of crimes are very lesser in nature than disrespect of Ummahat-ul-Momineen, Ahl al-Bayt, Khulfa-e-Rashideen and Sahaba-e-Kiram but their punishments are more than that mentioned in section 295-A of Pakistan Panel Code.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023