From $2800 to $4000: President of cash-strapped Pakistan demands massive hike in monthly salary

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Even as Pakistan is mired in an economic crisis and struggles to stay afloat, its President Dr Arif Alvi has sought a massive increase in his monthly salary. In fact, not one, the president has sought two raises, first with effect from 1st July 2021 and the second with effect from 1st July 2023.

As of today, the president is entitled to have a monthly salary of $2800 (Pakistan Rupees 846,550). Dr Alvi wants it raised to $3360 (Rs 1,024,325) and $4034 (Rs 1,229,190) per month with effect from July 2021 and July 2023 respectively.

The President’s Secretariat earlier this month wrote a letter to the Secretary Cabinet through his Military Secretariat, demanding that desired amendments must be implemented. He sought an amendment in the Fourth Schedule of the President’s Salary Allowances and Privileges (Amendment) Act, 2018.

The presidency cites hike in salary of chief justice

The letter justified the president’s demand by highlighting how the salary of the Chief Justice of Pakistan was also increased twice during the said period.

The presidency wrote, “It is highlighted that the salary of the Chief Justice of Pakistan being a holder of Public Office was increased twice in the last 2 years through Presidential Orders. Pay of Chief Justice of Pakistan was fixed @ Rs1,024,324/ per month w.e.f 01 July 2021 and subsequently @ Rs 1,229,189/ per month w.e.f. 01 July 2023. Salary of the President was not enhanced in relation to the laid down principle of one rupee higher than the salary of any holder of public office i.e. Chief Justice of Pakistan.”

Law ministry approves

Upon receiving the request, the Secretary Cabinet forwarded the matter to the law ministry of Pakistan, which on August 18 advised the former to register the case and process a salary hike.

The law ministry in a statement said, “The Federal Government by virtue of section 3(2) of the same Act has the power to amend that Schedule by way of a notification in the official gazette henceforth in relation to the issue at hand the Federal Government is competent to amend the Fourth Schedule by way of gazette notification and no amendment in the Fourth Schedule is required via an amending Act to effectuate a revision in the salary of the President.”

What next?

The finance ministry also examined the matter and, on August 22, endorsed the suggested salary raise for the president. This adjustment involves amending the Fourth Schedule of the President (Salary, Allowances & Privileges) Act, 1975.

The next step involves presenting this matter to the cabinet for approval. Along with the proposed increases, the president is anticipated to receive substantial arrears due to two-step raises being applicable from July 2021 and July 2023 respectively.

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