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Joint panel OKs draft law on privileges for MPs

Joint panel OKs draft law on privileges for MPs

Jul 23, 2014 - 18:51

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A joint parliamentary panel, ignoring protests from civil societyinfo-icon organisations, has endorsed a draft law giving lawmakers perks and privileges even after completing their tenure, an official said on Wednesday.

Some weeks back, the Wolesi Jirga -- lower house of the parliament -- approved the draft law permitting members to draw 25 percent of their salaries and keep two security guards even after retirement.

Civil society leader, including lawyers, say approval of the draft law is in conflict with the Clause 2 of Article 95 of the constitution, which says a proposal for budget and financial affairs is initiated only by the government.

Irfanullah Irfan, the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon deputy secretary, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the joint parliamentary committee accorded approval to the legislative measure after removing two controversial portions of it.

“The 14-member body has excised the controversial parts regarding 25 percent salary and two security guards from the draft law,” he said, explaining the MPs would have no right to draw any salary after retirement.

Upon completing their tenure, the lawmakers will lose their privilege of keeping security guards who are paid by the Ministry of Interior. However, Irfan said, they could hire guards on their own.

Following its approval by the joint commission, the bill would be sent to the president. Exercising his authority, the president could sign, reject it or send the measure back to the house, the deputy secretary said.



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