At a time when the US is facing economic strain and automatic budgetary cuts are in place, President Barack Obama will return 5% of his salary amounting to $20,000 to the Department of Treasury.
The salary of the US President is $4,00,000 per annum (over R2 crore) and in a show of solidarity he will return $20,000 (over R10 lakh).
“Obama instructed his staff he wanted to do this when the sequester took effect,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
“The salary for the president, as with Members of Congress, is set by law and cannot be changed. However, the president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the treasury,” Carney said.
Obama plans to write cheques to treasury on a monthly basis, effective March 1.
A day earlier, US defence secretary Chuck Hagel had said the same.