Lok Sabha passes bill to cut salaries of MPs by 30 per cent, non-NDA parties object MPLADS fund suspension
New Delhi : The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill to cut salaries of all Member of Parliament [MP] by 30 per cent for a year, to meet the requirements arising out COVID-19 pandemic. The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was unanimously passed by the members of the Lower House.
The bill was introduced in the Lower House on September 14. Earlier this year, the government had brought the Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, which provided a 30 per cent cut in sumptuary allowance payable to each minister for a period of one year commencing from April 1, 2020.
Earlier the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved an ordinance to amend salaries of parliamentarians and ministers, reducing allowances and pension by 30 per cent. The Cabinet had also decided to suspend the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme for two years and transfer the amount into the government's consolidated fund.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, while addressing a press briefing, had said that President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu and Governors too had offered to take the 30 percent cut in their salaries.
"The Union cabinet also approved temporary suspension of MPLAD Fund of MPs during 2020-21 & 2021-22 for managing health and the adverse impact of Covid-19 outbreak. The consolidated amount of MPLAD Funds for 2 years - Rs 7900 crores will go to consolidated Fund of India," Javadekar had said.
However, almost all non-NDA parties raised strong objection to the suspension of the MPLADS fund for two years.
Members of opposition parties also questioned why the union government was taking away MPLADS funds for two years while projects related to central vista was continuing without any hindrance while there is pandemic in the country.