There was heavy rush at the State Bank of India branch in the Parliament building on Wednesday. It was pay day in Parliament and many MPs didn’t want to wait to get some hard cash in their pockets.
“Like other people, we also have to run our house and pay our domestic help and others,” said a senior member.
Sources said more than 300 MPs went to the SBI branch — that exclusively serves the lawmakers — to withdraw money. “Most of them withdrew the entire weekly limit in one day,” said a bank official.
After the Rajya Sabha was adjourned in the morning, some MPs from the Upper House immediately rushed to the bank. The salaries were credited in their accounts early in the morning.
Even as the SBI branch worked non-stop to hand over cash to the lawmakers and their representatives, the four ATMs in the Parliament complex often went dry, forcing hundreds of workers and staff to wait patiently before the ATM machines with the hope that they will be refilled.
Some MPs had even tried to find out if they can get their salaries in cash from the Lok Sabha secretariat on Tuesday. Sources said BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab had asked Lok Sabha officials to give him his salary in cash instead of a cheque. The Parliament staff were clueless about any such provision.