President, PM, MPs to take 30% pay cut

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all Union ministers along with over 750 Members of Parliament will take a 30 per cent salary cut for one year and the amount will be used to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, an ordinance to the effect was passed on Tuesday.

The Union Cabinet approved the ordinance amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, slashing their earnings by 30 per cent effective from April 1 for a year. The ordinance will have to be passed by the Parliament when it is in session next.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice president Venkaiah Naidu and governors of -states have taken a voluntary pay cut of 30 percent for the same period, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters after the cabinet meeting that was held through video conferencing. “This is a landmark decision that sends the right signals. Though the amount will not be much, it is the message that goes out to the people that matters,” Javadekar said.

In addition, the cabinet suspended the MP Local Area Development Funds for all MPs across states for a period of two years. The funds accumulated from this, close to Rs.7,900 crore will be deposited in the Consolidated Fund of India.

Congress whip in Lok Sabha, Manickam Tagore said that while he welcomed the slash in salaries of MPs, the suspension of MPLADs for two years was ‘problematic and needs to be reconsidered.’ Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury added, “Removal of MPLAD fund is a gross injustice towards the representatives of people as well as the voters, as the MPs enjoy the autonomy of spending the fund for the development of the area according to the demands of the common voters. The decision of the government also amply proves that the country is heading towards financial emergency.”

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