Members of Parliament to take 30 percent cut to fund the fight against coronavirus

Updated: Apr 08, 2020, 18:23 IST | PTI | Mumbai

While Lok Sabha has 543 members, Rajya Sabha has a strength of 245. From a salary of Rs one lakh, the MPs will now get Rs 70,000 per month

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu

An ordinance to amend a law to reduce the salaries of MPs by 30 per cent for one year "to meet the exigencies arising out of COVID-19 pandemic" was promulgated on Tuesday. Another government order said the MPs will also take a cut of a total of Rs 27,000 per month each from their constituency allowance and office allowance.

The Salary, Allowances And Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 will come into force immediately. The ordinance will insert a new sub-section in the Salary, Allowances And Pension of Members of Parliament Act 1954 to give effect to reduction in salaries.

"Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the salary payable to Members of Parliament under sub section (1) shall be reduced by thirty per cent. for a period of one year commencing from the 1st April, 2020, to meet the exigencies arising out of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic," the new provision says.

The ordinance was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Monday. A bill to replace the ordinance will be brought in the next session of Parliament. While Lok Sabha has 543 members, Rajya Sabha has a strength of 245. From a salary of Rs one lakh, the MPs will now get Rs 70,000 per month.

With regard to allowances, according to the orders, the Joint Committee of Parliament in consultation with the government recommended a 30-per cent cut in Constituency Allowance of Rs 70,000 per month of each MP, which comes to Rs 21,000 per month.

"Notwithstanding anything contained in the rule 2, a member shall be entitled to receive the constituency allowance under section 8 of the salary, Allowances and pension of members of Parliament Act, 1954 (30 of 1954), at the rate of rupees forty nine thousand per mensem (month) for the period from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021," the government said in a notification.

Of the Rs 60,000 Office Allowance per month, each MP will now get Rs 14,000 towards stationery as against Rs 20,000 per month earlier. There has been no cut in the amount of Rs 40,000 per month meant for engaging personal assistants by MPs. Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla accepted the recommendations of the Joint Committee and the cut has become effective from April 1, the official order said.

The rules, as per the notification, under which the deductions have come are called the Members of Parliament (Constituency Allowance) Amendment Rules, 2020. The government had on Monday said that salaries, allowances and pension of MPs would be cut. A government spokesperson later clarified that only the salary would be reduced by 30 per cent and not the allowances and pension.

"The Cabinet's decision was confined to amending the law to reduce salaries of MPs. The allowances have been reduced by a parliamentary panel in consultation with the government by amending rules," explained a government functionary.

Justifying the cut in salaries of lawmakers, the ordinance said the coronavirus pandemic has shown the importance of expeditious relief and assistance and therefore, it is necessary to take "certain emergency measures to prevent and contain the spread of said pandemic".

"... In order to manage and control such situation, it has become necessary to raise resources by reduction of salaries and allowances of Members of Parliament...," the ordinance said.

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