A bill seeking to provide secretarial staff and other benefits to ex-governors throughout their life was passed by Lok Sabha today.
Introducing the Governors (Emoluments, Allowances and Privileges) Amendment Bill, 2012, minister of state for home RPN Singh said former governors do not get any pension or post-retirement benefits except medical facilities as per rules issued by ministry of health and family welfare.
"Keeping in view the high constitutional office that a governor holds and considering the contributions in public discourse that they would continue to make after they retire, it is proposed to provide the secretarial assistance to ex-governors in the form of one personal assistant, which the ex-governor concerned may appoint on reimbursement basis, during his life time," Singh said.
But the person will not be eligible for such secretarial assistance for the period during which he is re-appointed to the office of governor or elected to Parliament or the state legislature or appointed to any office of profit under the Union or a state government.
The personal assistant will be paid a salary of Rs. 28,000. In a lighter vein, Singh said the opposition should not have any objection as husband of Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, as well as Leader of the House Sushilkumar Shinde, are beneficiaries. Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal and Shinde are ex-governors.
Eaerlier, initiating the debate on the Bill, Kirti Azad (BJP) pointed out that the post of governor has been misused often with the Centre using them to target state governments. He said recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, Punchhi Commission and Venkatachalliah Committee should be implemented to prevent this.