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Lok Sabha passes Bill to reduce salaries of MPs by 30% to meet Covid Exigencies

The ordinance was cleared by the Cabinet on April 6 and promulgated the next day.

Members of Parliament(Amendment) Bill 2020, Lok Sabha

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  16 Sep 2020 3:47 AM GMT

New Delhi: In a bid to meet the exigencies arising out COVID-19 pandemic, Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill to reduce salaries of all MPs by 30 per cent for a year.

Despite objections by opposition MPs, the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in the Lower House on Monday. It will restore the Salary, Allowances And Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.

On April 5, 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 ordinance was cleared by the Cabinet on April 6 and promulgated the next day.

While replying to the debate on the bill, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi stated that funds are needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and "charity should begin from home".

He also added that the economy was affected due to the lockdown, and in such a situation, the government has taken important decisions to deal with the economic crisis.

Earlier, 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.

It is to be mentioned that under the MPLAD scheme, members of both Houses can recommend development programmes involving spending of Rs 5 crore every year.

The Congress and other opposition parties in Lok Sabha demanded the restoration of MPLADS funds even as they supported the government's decision to cut the salaries of members of Parliament.

Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, asserted that the MPLADS funds should be restored as it is being used by the members for development works in their respective constituencies.

Addressing a press briefing, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that even President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu and Governors had offered to take the 30 percent cut in their salaries.

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