ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary committee on Monday approved “The Rulers of Acceding States (Abolition of Privy Purpose and Privileges) (Amendment)” Bill 2017, recommending to enhance the allowances of the former rulers of merged and acceding states.

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue met here at the Parliament House with Senator Saleem Mandviwala in the chair.

The committee, after detailed discussion, approved the bill for presentation in the Senate with recommendation to forward the same to National Assembly.

The committee also recommended that allowance of the former rulers of merged and acceding states should be increased by up to half a million rupees.

The statement of objects and reasons of the bill says Article 5 of the Rulers of Acceding States (Abolition of Privy Purses and Privileges) Order, 1972 do not provide for enhancement in maintenance allowance as proposed by the cabinet.

The maintenance allowance was sanctioned to the rulers of acceding states or their dependents in lieu of privy purses at the relevant time but due to inflationary pressure has lost its worth.

The cabinet, therefore, has decided to enhance the monthly maintenance allowance to ex-rulers of all merged and acceding states and their dependents.

Ministry of States and Frontier Regions informed the committee that cabinet division in 2007 had proposed to enhance the allowances of the former rulers of merged and acceding states by 200 percent. However, the government had not implemented the decision yet.

The committee members showed serious concern for giving less allowances to the former rulers of merged and acceding states.

Senator Saleem Mandviwalla said that the name of Nawab of Bahawalpur was also included in the list of former rulers.

The committee also considered points of public importance raised by Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini in Senate sitting regarding amnesty scheme for motor vehicles.  He informed that thousands of non custom paid vehicles were legalized under the amnesty scheme initiated in March 2013.  However, the authorities concerned have started demanding more amounts in the shape of duty / taxes which were short assessed.  He emphasized that the matter requires detailed deliberation.  The Committee decided to summon the higher authorities of Tax Collectorate, Balochistan to apprise the Committee on the matter.  The Committee deferred this issue till next meeting.

 The meeting was attended by Senators Ayesha Raza Farooq, Kamil Ali Agha, Mushahid Ullah Khan, Osman Saifullah Khan and Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini besides senior officers of the ministry of Finance and FBR.