Members of National Assembly on both the treasury and opposition benches have expressed reservations over low salaries and have demanded that their wages be set equal to judges of the Supreme Court or the provincial assembly members of Balochistan. During Question Hour, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal, while replying to question of Shahida Rehmani, said he knows salaries of parliamentarians are low and that they are ready to increase them if the speaker issue directions in this regard. The Speaker said that he was ready to do so if the Finance Ministry asked the National Assembly Secretariat. Maulana Meer Zaman said that his salary is Rs 17,000 and after factoring in all the allowances, he gets Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 which is not enough to make ends meet. Giving details of his expenditures, he said that he pays Rs 10,000 as rent of Parliament Lodges and Rs 10,000 as gas and electricity bills. He said that grade 16 employees get higher pay than parliamentarians and demanded wages equal to the salary of Balochistan Members of Provincial Assemblies. IMPLEMENTING NAP: Meanwhile, the National Assembly was informed that operation against terrorism is going on across the country under the National Action Plan (NAP). Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Maryam Aurangzeb informed the House during Question Hour that a number of terrorists have been arrested in Punjab during the operation. She said that combing operation, Madrasa registration and action against hate speech and material are being taken throughout the country. The parliamentary secretary said that the steps of the government to control incidents of terrorism in Karachi had resulted in significant reduction in incidents of terrorism. To a question, she said a total of 251,624 Pakistani nationals have been repatriated to Pakistan from abroad during the tenure of the present government since June 1, 2013 to February this year. Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan told the House that total external debt of the country stands at $53.4 billion dollars. He said that when the incumbent government took over, the debt stood at $48.1 billion and that there had been an increase of $5.3 billion during this period. Rana Afzal said that through prudent policies, the government had succeeded in reducing fiscal deficit from 8.4 per cent to 5.5 per cent and that it will be reduced further to 5.1 per cent this year. ISLAMABAD SAFE CITY PROJECT: Replying to a question Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the House that Safe City Project Islamabad is being implemented at a cost of over $124 million. He said that exit and entry points are being monitored under this project. He said that 1,800 CCTV cameras have been installed in the federal capital under the project. He said the project is at trial stage and will be formally inaugurated next month. Parliamentary Secretary for Planning Syed Saqlain Bukhari told the House that under CPEC three kinds of projects including energy, road and railways infrastructure and development of Gwadar are being implemented. He clarified that Orange Line Metro Train project in Lahore is not part of CPEC. He said that the Punjab government is implementing this project through bank loans. Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Asiya Naz Tanoli and others regarding dilapidated condition of the IJP Road from Faizabad to Pirwadhai, Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Maryam Aurangzeb said the road will be completely repaired soon. LEGISLATION: The House adopted a resolution extending the Private Powers and Infrastructure Board (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 for a further period of 120 days. The National Assembly on Thursday passed four bills including “The Corporate Restructuring Bill, 2015”, “The Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finances) (Amendment) Bill, 2015”, “The Deposit Protection Corporation Bill, 2015” and “The Financial Institutions (Secured Transaction) Bill, 2016”. The House will be in session again today (Friday) at 10:30AM.