30 per cent pay-cut for all Members of Parliament for a year

Money to be put into Consolidated Fund of India, MPLADs scrapped for two years as well

SalariesImage Courtesy: businesstoday.in

In a surprise move, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has announced that an Ordinance has been passed On April 6 to reduce the salaries of all Members of Parliament. This pay cut will be in place for the next 12 months. The Prime Minister, Union Cabinet, and all other MPs will get 30 per cent less, for a year.

Javadekar did not clarify if only the basic pay will be slashed or if it will also affect all allowances and perks that MPs, and ministers are entitled to. The ordinance, an amendment to Members of Parliament Act, 1954, passed on Monday, comes into effect immediately.

The minister was also reluctant to answer questions about  the amount of money saved with this move but said, “it is not about saving,” but the salary cuts were about “the message, and the will of the MPs”. Was it mere optics then? All the minister would say was “it gives the right signal.”

He added that apart from the ordinance reducing salaries of MPs salary, constitutional heads, right from President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and many state governors and lieutenant-governors have sent letters and said they too will voluntarily decide to take a similar pay cut as a “social responsibility”.

This money will now be put in the “Consolidated Fund of India,” Javadekar said.  The financial news portal money controls explains that the “Consolidated Fund of India is the term used for the total revenue collected by the government through taxes and expenses incurred in the form of borrowings and loans.”

Javadekar also announced that the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADs) fund have also been discontinued for the next two years. Under the MPLADS funds are allocated by the government for each member of parliament to undertake development projects in various one or more districts. This amount, to the tune of  Rs 7900 crores will also be put in the Consolidated Fund of India.

According to the MPLADS website, each constituency is entitled to get Rs. 5 crore annually under this scheme. “Lok Sabha Members can recommend works within their Constituencies and Elected Members of Rajya Sabha can recommend works within the State of Election… . Nominated Members of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha can recommend works anywhere in the country,” the rules are clear.

It is too early to say, but the buzz is now building if government employees may also have to take some kind of a pay cut. Most of them have already contributed one-day’s salary as a gesture of solidarity in the fight against Coronavirus pandemic.

Coincidentally, April 6 is also the 40th foundation day of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A majority of Parliamentarians today are from the BJP.



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