Lok Sabha nod to bill for 30% salary cut of MPs for a year due to Covid crisis

Discussing the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which was brought on Monday to replace an ordinance that was promulgated on April 7, Parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi defended the move and said “charity should begin from home”.
Parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha attend the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in New Delhi on September 15, 2020.(LSTV/PTI Photo)
Parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha attend the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in New Delhi on September 15, 2020.(LSTV/PTI Photo)
Updated on Sep 16, 2020 02:07 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill to reduce the salaries of MPs by 30% for one year “to meet the exigencies” arising out of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. Opposition leaders cutting across political lines supported the bill to reduce MPs’ salary by 30% but spoke unequivocally against the temporary scrapping of MPLAD funds for two years.

Discussing the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which was brought on Monday to replace an ordinance that was promulgated on April 7, Parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi defended the move and said “charity should begin from home”.

Replying to the debate on the bill, Joshi said that funds are needed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and pointed out that Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds have been temporarily stalled for two years.

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Congress floor leader in lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury called for a unanimous resolution in the House to restore the MPLAD fund, arguing that 93% of the funds have been utilised and the bulk of them were used for welfare activities for SCs, STs and villagers. He also said that the government is giving tax relief to corporate but taking away MPLAD fund, dubbing it as “penny-wise and pound-foolish”.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Bhagwant Mann, independent member from Maharashtra Navneet Ravi Rana, BSP’s Ritesh Pandey and AIMIM’s S I Jaleel said that government can reduce their salary further but the MPLAD fund should be restored as it belongs to the people.

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Monday, November 29, 2021