Rise in allowance for rulers of ex-princely states proposed


While expressing sympathy with the heirs of the rulers of erstwhile princely states, Ministry of States and Frontier Reg­ions (Safron) Secretary Arbab Shazad said the earlier recommendation to increase the maintenance allowance could not be implemented due to legal implications. He said the federal cabinet had approved a 200 per cent increase in the annual allowance back in November 2007, but Article 5 of the Rulers of Acceding States (Abolition of Privy and Privileges) Order 1972 did not provide for an increase in maintenance allowance. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla chaired Monday’s meeting of the standing com-mittee which discussed amendments to the Rulers of Acceding States (Abolition of Privy Purses and Privileges) Order 1972. They approved amendments to the Bill, which will be presented in the Senate. After getting approved by the Senate, it will be forwarded to the National Assembly The Safron secretary said there was a need to amend the law so that the cabinet division could implement the new proposal. Members of the committee lauded the former rulers for merging their states with Pakistan and stressed the need to honour their kin as a goodwill gesture from the state. “The existing annual allowance is unfair to them…there must be a considerable raise in it,” Senator Osman Saifullah said, “The princely states should be given their due share as per budgetary increase every year.” Some members noted that an allowance of Rs25,000 a year was insufficient to even clothe anyone, and berated former governments for not responding to the families of former nawabs in a positive manner. The beneficiaries of the list presented to the committee by the ministry include three dependents of Nawab of Dir, nine of former ruler of Makran, eight of Nawab of Kalat and two depe­n­dents of the Nawab of Junagadh state. Other beneficiaries include the former rulers of Chitral, Khairpur, Bahawalpur, share holders of the Bantva state, the talukdar of Sultanabad, Sheikh Sahib of Mangrol and the Khan of Manawadar. The Ministry of Safron told the committee that former rulers of princely states had been apportioned maintenance allowance in accordance with the average annual income generated by the state at the time of accession. However, the Safron secretary cautioned that the proposal might not be acceptable to the Ministry of Finance. The committee members were told that at present, Rs3.64 million was disbursed each year from the federal budget for the annual maintenance allowance to ex-rulers and their dependents. The implementation of 200pc raise in the allowance, as approved by the federal cabinet in 2007, would require an additional allocation of Rs7.7m in the annual budget.]]>

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