new Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday approved a bill to provide 30 percent reduction in the salary of MPs for one year. This amount will be used to counter the situation caused by the Kovid-19 epidemic.
After a brief discussion in the lower house, the Members of Parliament Pay, Allowance and Pension Amendment Bill 2020 was approved by voice vote. This bill has been brought in place of Pay, Allowance and Pension Ordinance 2020 related to the Member of Parliament. Through this, the Salary, Allowances and Pension Act of 1954 has been amended. The ordinance received cabinet approval on 6 April amid Corona virus epidemic and came into force on 7 April.
Participating in the discussion, most opposition members said that they have no problem with the MPs’ salary cuts, but the government should reconsider the suspension of MP funds.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi, while replying to the discussion in the lower house, said that in view of the unprecedented situation arising due to Kovid-19, the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken several important steps. This step is one of them. He said that philanthropy starts at home, in this case members of Parliament are making this contribution and it is not a question of small or large amount but of sentiment.
Joshi said that when a natural disaster strikes, it affects a specific region, war affects the borders of two countries. But Kovid-19 has affected the whole world, affecting the world economy. He said that the government started a poor welfare scheme of Rs 1.76 lakh crore with a package of Rs 20 lakh crore. The government increased the allocation of MNREGA and worked for rural infrastructure.
In response to members’ questions about the MP Area Development Fund (MPLAD), the Union Minister said that the MP Fund has been temporarily suspended for two years. He said that some tough decisions were needed to help the people.
Taking part in the discussion, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said that he represents a backward region and in such a situation the development work will be affected by not having MP funds. He said that most of the money of MP fund is spent for the people of villages, scheduled castes and tribes and in such a situation the government is working against them by suspending this fund.
Congressman Dean Kuriakose said that the government should have considered other means to raise funds instead of suspending MP funds.
BJP’s Vijay Baghel said that during the Corona epidemic all MPs worked for their constituencies and now they should also contribute by supporting this bill.
Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress said that due to the suspension of the MP fund by the government, the money is not being released from the administration in their area.
Pinaki Mishra of BJD, Imtiaz Jalil of AIMIM and Naveet Kaur Rana, an independent member, also said that if the salary of MPs is not only reduced by 30 percent to deal with the epidemic, they will not face any problem but the amount of MPLAD Should not be stopped which is public money.
Kalanithi Veeraswamy of DMK, M. Bharat of YSR Congress and some other members also opposed the suspension of MP Nidhi.
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