MPs given Rs73m for medical treatment from Jan 2017 to March 2019

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Secretariat spent Rs73.13 million for the treatment of MNAs from January 2017 till March 2019.

The PML-N and PTI, both the ruling parties, preferred their own party members while reimbursing their medical bills, reveals the data received through Right of Access to Information Act 2017.

The analysis of the data reveals that during the PML-N regime, the ruling party MNAs were given priority as 23 out of 50 MNAs have been paid their medical bills from January 2017 to May 31, 2018. The PML-N government reimbursed a total of Rs57,682,440 (Rs57.68 million) to 50 MNAs from different parties for their medical treatment out of which Rs51,165,373 (Rs51.16 million) were given to its own 23 MNAs.

Similarly, following in the footstep of its predecessor, the PTI government is also favoring its own MNAs. The analysis of the data shows that from June 2018 till March 2019, the PTI-led government has reimbursed the medical bills of 33 MNAs worth Rs15,451,759 (Rs15.45 million). Out of the total Rs15.45 million, 12 MNAs of PTI have been reimbursed Rs8,767,534 (Rs8.76 million) whereas the remaining Rs6,684,225 had been given to 21 MNAs of different parties. The present government has also reimbursed Rs2,863,822 (Rs2.8 million) to six PML-N MNAs.

As per data, six MNAs of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) were reimbursed Rs2,155,521 (Rs2.15 million) during the last one and a half years of PML-N regime. Similarly, PTI government has reimbursed Rs103,781 to two PPP MNAs. Similarly, three JUI-F MNAs were reimbursed Rs1,662,774 (Rs1.66 million) during PML-N regime but no one from the party has been given any amount during the PTI government.

The analysis of the data further reveals that the amount spent on the members of the lower house during these two years is much higher than the amount spent on MNAs from 2008 to 2017. A total of 83 MNAs have reimbursed their medical bills from the National Assembly (NA) Secretariat during the last two years, the data reveals.

The data received from NA Secretariat on the RTI request filed by a citizen Moonus Kayinat Zahra reveals that a total of 27 MNAs got their medical bills worth Rs2128,9101 (Rs21.28 million) reimbursed from the NA Secretariat from January 2017 to December 2017. Similarly, 32 parliamentarians received Rs45,209,386 (Rs45.20 million) as medical reimbursement from the lower house secretariat. The data further reveals that 18 MNAs have received Rs6,629,658 (Rs6.62 million) from the NA Secretariat from January 2019 to March 2019.

According to the data, late Najaf Abbas Sial (PML-N) was reimbursed Rs30,086,256 (Rs30.08 million) in 2018 for his medical treatment. Sahibzada Muhammad Nazeer Sultan (PML-N) was the second highest who received Rs11,860,611 (Rs11.86 million) from the NA Secretariat for his medical treatment in 2017.

Third on the list of highest reimbursement is ex-MNA Mian Muhammad Farooq (PML-N) who received Rs5,417,110 (Rs5.41 million) during 2017 and 2018. In 2017, he received Rs3,415,110 and Rs2,002,000 in 2018. Similarly, sitting MNA Dr Haider Ali Khan (PTI) has received Rs4,717,668 (Rs4.71 million) from the NA Secretariat in 2019.

As per data, there are four other MNAs, who received more than one million rupees from the NA Secretariat for their medical bills reimbursement. The data shows that Pir Noor Muhammad Shah Jeelani (PPP) received Rs1,559,309 (Rs1.55 million) in 2018, Sardar Umar Farooq Khan, ex-MNA received Rs1,506,628 (Rs1.5 million) in 2018, Sher Ali Akbar (PTI) received Rs3,315,122 (Rs3.31 million) in 2018 and Ch Muhammad Ashraf (PML-N) received Rs1,360,415 (Rs1.36 million) in 2018. The remaining MNAs’ medical bills reimbursement is less than one million rupees.

Whereas there are a few MNAs whose medical bills amount is in thousands. Earlier, this correspondent had also filed an RTI request in 2017 and received the information from NA Secretariat about the total expenditure incurred on the medical treatment of parliamentarians from 2008 to 2017.

According to the data, this correspondent received in 2017, the NA Secretariat spent Rs64.38 million for the medical treatment of its member from 2008 to 2017. As per the documents provided by the NA Secretariat, out of the total amount spent on parliamentarians during the current and previous regime, a major chunk was spent during 2008 to 2013.

The parliamentarians spent Rs46.54 million for their medical treatment from public money during 2007-08 to 2012-13. Similarly during the 2013 to 2017, Rs17.85 million had been spent for MNA’s medical treatment.

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