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31 Jan, 2020 04:20

‘Baseless & concocted report’: Pakistani PM’s office bats away rumors Khan will see a salary hike

‘Baseless & concocted report’: Pakistani PM’s office bats away rumors Khan will see a salary hike

Slamming reports suggesting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan would receive a lavish pay raise, a spokesperson for the PM rejected the claim as a groundless fiction, insisting no such salary boost would be forthcoming.

Responding to reports on Thursday positing the planned raise, the PM’s office said in a statement that it “strongly denies the news of the increase in the Prime Minister's salary,” adding “at a time when the Prime Minister was not only campaigning to reduce government spending in every possible way, the propagation of such a baseless and concocted news report is unfortunate.”

At [a recent] Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister explicitly directed that a limit should be set on spending.

At the same meeting, meant to amend rules governing the benefits received by heads of state, Khan also noted that “the expenses incurred on the heads of government were met by sweating the blood of the people,” urging for such needless costs to be kept to a minimum, the statement went on.

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Far from the asserted pay hike, the cricket star-turned-politician noted earlier this week that his official salary as prime minister came up short in covering his own household bills.

“I live in my own home, pay my own expenses. My [official] salary is not enough to cover the expenses of my own household,” Khan said, adding that expenditures on trips abroad had been slashed by a multiple of 10, while disbursements allotted to the PM’s residence were cut by 40 percent.

Khan has previously voiced disapproval for unwarranted pay raises for state officials, slamming a decision last March by lawmakers in Punjab to boost salaries as “untenable.”

Per Khan’s February 2019 salary slip, obtained by the News International, the PM earned a monthly income of 196,979 Pakistani rupees after accounting for taxes and other deductions. That comes out to about $15,610 per year – reportedly less than the salaries of his own cabinet ministers and other regional officials. By contrast, US presidents earn an official salary of $400,000 each year, in addition to other non-monetary benefits. President Donald Trump – a billionaire – has refused a White House salary, however, choosing instead to donate the funds to government agencies.

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