Outstanding dues: clarification by National Assembly about News Items Published in a section of the press
Islamabad, March 05, 2013 (PPI-OT):
Please refer to the news item published in the daily Dawn on 5.3.2013 wherein Dr. Fehmida Mirza, honourable Speaker of National Assembly has been held liable for an “outstanding amount of Rs.381,266/- in lieu of electricity charges against her residence No.28, and she did not pay bills for 13 months and made a partial payment of Rs.69,227/- in June last year ”.
Above news item was published at the behest of Mr. Khaleeq Kiani, a Correspondent of your newspaper. The said correspondent got published this news without getting clarification from this Secretariat and consulting the relevant law in shape of the “Chairman and Speaker (salaries, allowances and privileges) Act, 1975”.
It has been clearly laid down in section 8 of the Act that “the Chairman and the Speaker shall be entitled, without payment of rent, to the use of residence throughout his term of office, and for a period of fifteen days immediately thereafter, and no charge shall fall on him personally in respect of its maintenance”. The word maintenance has been defined in section 2 of the Act that “maintenance in relation to a residence includes the payment of local rates and taxes and provision of water, gas and electricity”.
It appears that the news item was published to malign the honourable Speaker particularly at the time when the general elections are going to be held in the near future. I would suggest to call the correspondent to account for this unauthentic news item because this has lowered the estimation of the honourable Speaker. I would further advise you to tender and publish unconditional apology for the vindication of the honour of the worthy Madam Speaker.
Director General (PR)
For more information, contact:
Karamat Hussain Niazi
National Assembly of Pakistan
Parliament House, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 922 1082 -83
Fax: +9251 922 1106