Lok Sabha passes Bill to cut MPs’ wages by 30%

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 15, 2020 Published on September 15, 2020

Opposition asks Centre to restore MPLADS

Asserting that charity should begin at home, the Lok Sabha passed the salary, allowances and pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill that provides for a 30 per cent cut for MPs in both the Houses of Parliament.

During the debate on the Bill, the Opposition parties urged the Centre to reinstate the MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) and said it will help in building health and medical infrastructure during the ongoing pandemic. The government said the step can be reviewed in a couple of years.

In the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said it became necessary for the Centre to raise resources from different sources, including by reducing the salary of Members of Parliament, in order to manage and control the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bill replaces the Ordinance to this effect, and provides that the salary payable to MPs under sub-section (1) of the Act shall be reduced by thirty per cent for a period of one year commencing from April 1, 2020.

Replying to a brief debate on the Bill, Joshi said charity should begin from home. On MPLADS, he said: “Whatever decision we have taken on MPLADS is temporary and only for two years.”

Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the MPLADS funds should be restored as it is being used by the MPs for development works in their respective constituencies. “Everybody has called for the restoration of the funds, so why not we pass a unanimous resolution that the fund be restored,” he asked.

He claimed that 93 per cent of the funds have been utilised by the members and the bulk of them were used for welfare activities for SCs, STs and villagers. “I am appealing to the House that this fund should be restored,” he added. He was supported by members from other Opposition parties.

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Published on September 15, 2020
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